The Cure for Death by Lightning

Gail Anderson-Dargatz's coming-of-age story follows a young girl growing up on a farm in British Columbia during the Second World War.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

The Cure for Death by Lightning is the haunting coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Beth Weeks, who is growing up on a farm in B.C. during the Second World War. It's the summer of all things strange: she's pursued by a predator, children go missing, her father is going mad and her mother talks to the dead. Beth must handle all of this while grappling with turning 16 and being on the verge of adulthood.

The Cure for Death by Lightning was a Giller Prize finalist in 1996.

From the book

My name is Beth Weeks. My story takes place in the midst of the Second World War, the year I turned fifteen, the year the world fell apart and began to come together again. Much of it will be hard to believe, I know. But the evidence for everything I'm about to tell you is there, in the pages of my mother's scrapbook, in the clippings describing bear attacks and the Swede's barn fire and the children gone missing on the reserve, in the recipe for pound cake I made the night they took my father away, and in the funeral notices of my classmate Sarah Kemp and the others. The scrapbook was my mother's way of setting down the days so they wouldn't be forgotten. This story is my way. No one can tell me these events didn't happen, or that it was all a girl's fantasy. The reminders are there, in that scrapbook, and I remember them all.

From The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz ©1997. Published by Vintage Canada.