Books·Canadian

The Descendants

A book by Robert Chursinoff.

Robert Chursinoff

Seven years after a brutal encounter with the Hells Angels, two ex-lovers, Jonah Seeger and Ruby Samarodin, return to their Doukhobor religious community in the mountains of British Columbia to heal and start new lives. Jonah is a twenty-five-year-old from a disgraced family, and now injured and battling PTSD from his time as a Marine. Ruby, practically Doukhobor royalty, is a rock star with a substance use disorder.

Jonah finds his mother, Sharon, still struggling with an eating disorder stemming from her terrorist upbringing in the Doukhobor splinter sect known as the Sons of Freedom. Ruby returns to Sasha, the young son she abandoned, and to her overbearing mother, Virginia, a pious pillar of the community raised to loathe the Sons of Freedom.

After a heartfelt reunion between Jonah, Ruby, and Sasha, they learn that a murderous Hells Angel, Clinton Pritchard, is still obsessed with revenge for the damage Jonah caused years earlier. But when Ruby confronts Clinton about their terrible past, Clinton's brother Swanny Pritchard must choose whether to side with his brother or turn against him. Jonah and Ruby unwittingly draw their family into a final confrontation with the Hells Angels that will test longheld, pacifist Doukhobor beliefs. (From Nightwood Editions)

Robert Chursinoff is a Vancouver-based musician and writer. He has been a drummer for musical acts such as Tegan and Sara, Australian pop star Ben Lee, the Be Good Tanyas, Juno-nominated performer Kinnie Starr, the Belle Game and many others. His writing has been published in the literary journal Blank Spaces, the anthology Just Words Volume 4, and online in Vice, Nowhere Magazine, Upworthy and Matador Network.

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