Books·Canadian

Summer Gone

David MacFarlane's book was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 1999.

David MacFarlane

Set among the islands and lakes of "cottage country", this major first novel from one of Canada's premier writers explores the stories of three generations of lost summers. But Summer Gone is primarily the story of a divorced father and a young son separated by the silence of estrangement, and how during one extraordinary night on an ill-fated canoe trip the silence is broken. Yet, as the novel unfolds, tragedy looms over father and son in ways they could never have imagined, and leads to the book's gripping and startling conclusion. (From Vintage Canada

From the book

When Dr. Alistair Laird fell suddenly ill early one spring, not long after his seventy-first birthday, his wishes were that no ceremony attend his death. He was a handsome, crag-faced man. He was known as Laird to everyone, including his wife, Nora, and his three stepdaughters, Julia, Pru, and Sarah. He was kindly, in his way. He was also bombastic, in his way. And for someone who was dying, and dying rather quickly, Laird made his exit plans known with some force.

"Perhaps," said the hospital chaplain, who ventured once and only once into Laird's room, "a memorial service, a gathering of family and friends . . ."

Laird moved his dry lips.

"I beg your pardon." The chaplain leaned forward.

A gasp of stale breath. "Get out."


From Summer Gone by David MacFarlane ©1999. Published by Vintage Canada.