Books·Canadian

The Republic of Love

Carol Shields' novel explores the issues, dilemmas and barriers facing the lucky and unlucky in love in the 21st Century.

Carol Shields

With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer, Carol Shields introduces us to two shell-shocked veterans of the wars of the heart. There's Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man. And right across the street there's Tom, a popular radio talk-show host who has focused a little too intently, having married and divorced three times.

Can Fay believe in lasting love with such a man? Will romantic love conquer all rational expectations? Only Carol Shields could describe so adroitly this couple who fall in love as thoroughly and satisfyingly as any Victorian couple and the modern complications that beset them in this touching and ironic book. (From Vintage Canada)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

I've had lots of happy moments. I've been lucky. But I always think the happiest moment hasn't happened yet. I'm talking about the queen of happy moments. The biggie. The unfathomable. The epitome of happiness. The only thing is, I worry that when it comes along I won't recognize it. It'll be flashing away there at the edge of my vision and I'll be looking so hard that I'll just let it float right by.


From The Republic of Love by Carol Shields ©1994. Published by Vintage Canada.

Author interviews

Shelagh Rogers revisits a 2002 interview with Canada Reads author Carol Shields. 9:50