Books·Canadian

Our Homesick Songs

Our Homesick Songs is a novel by Emma Hooper.

Emma Hooper

Newfoundland, 1992. When all the fish vanish from the waters and the cod industry abruptly collapses, it's not long before the people begin to disappear from the town of Big Running as well. As residents are forced to leave the island in search of work, 10-year-old Finn Connor suddenly finds himself living in a ghost town. There's no school, no friends and whole rows of houses stand abandoned. And then Finn's parents announce that they too must separate if their family is to survive.

But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast at night, and Mrs. Callaghan, who teaches him the strange and ancient melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost. (From Hamish Hamilton)

Our Homesick Songs was on the longlist for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

From the book

That night, at home, the phone rang. Aidan picked it up downstairs, in the kitchen. Finn picked it up upstairs, in the hall, as quietly as he could, breathing sideways out the corner of his mouth.

Aidan, said Martha, everyone on the flight was from here, going there. Everyone.

The hotel line was fuzzy-quiet, far away.

And, she said, the plane was bumpy, less graceful, than I thought it would be.

And, she said, Aidan, when we arrived and all stepped out and down the airplane stairs and all looked around, looked up, there were no mountains.

Of course not, said Aidan, those are miles away. By Calgary.

I was hoping, said Martha. I thought maybe, in the distance.

I know, said Aidan. But no.


From Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper ©2018. Published by Hamish Hamilton.

Interviews with Emma Hooper

Emma Hooper on her novel Our Homesick Songs.

Other books by Emma Hooper

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