When the government of Newfoundland wants to resettle the small island community of Sweetland, all the residents are on board — except for 69-year-old former fisherman Moses Sweetland. He refuses to go, and compromises his relationships with everyone he knows and loves. He realizes the only way for everyone to get what they want is to fake his own death. What unfolds is a mesmerizing tale of survival, passion and the enduring hold of the place we call home.
He'd gone across to the mainland after a load of wood on Saturday morning and was stranded overnight by the fog. Slept in the wheelhouse under an old blanket with a pair of coveralls rolled up as a pillow. The mauze lifted a little at first light and he thought he might be able to pick his way home. Had the island in sight when the mist muffled in, so thick he couldn't see ten feet past the bow. Cut the engine to drift awhile, listening blind for other boats. Just the lap of waves against the hull for the longest time. The wail of the foghorn on the Burnt Head. And in the lull between, a murmur that seemed vaguely human. Then a single wordless syllable shouted, like a dog's bark.
From Sweetland by Michael Crummey ©2014. Published by Doubleday Canada.