No Beautiful Shore
by Beverley Stone
ISBN 9781897151198 | 5.5" x 8.5" | TPB with French Flaps | $20
Categories:Fiction - Literary, Gay and Lesbian
Purchase:Local Bookstores | mcnallyrobinson.com | amazon.ca | chapters.indigo.ca
SynopsisBride Marsh and Wanda Stuckless have never been away from home. After seventeen years, their entire world consists of a small, close-knit island off the coast of Newfoundland. But the two girls have bigger and better ambitions than to be stuck on the island their birth consigned them to. The summer after high school, they make plans to leave everything behind and move to Toronto, but in the process, they realize that running away from home is not as easy as they originally thought. Once the boys in town start to show an interest in them, the girls find their plans for escape have hit a slight snag as they start to drift further apart and discover that the island might have more to offer than just a dead-end life. The novel is full of love and pathos for the tragic lives Bride and Wanda will be leaving behind. From Wanda’s blind father and catatonic mother, to Bride’s sorrowful stepfather/uncle and her sexually and emotionally insular mother, the island comes to life with their vibrant lives. With an angst reminiscent of A Complicated Kindness, No Beautiful Shore is awash in the anxiety of growing up and the irresistible urge to leave home.
"This is not just another coming of age novel but a fully realized portrait of life, young and old, in outport Newfoundland. By the end of it all, I came to know and care about Wanda and Bride with an intensity that was surprising. If you read a single novel this spring, make it No Beautiful Shore."
- The Sun Times
"Stone's prose is detailed and engaging, and she certainly has an ear for dialogue. The author, herself born and raised in Newfoundland, catches the idiom, poetic phrasing, and cadence of the vernacular. ("'Oh my blessed fuck,' said Wanda, dropping her bag. 'Mom, look at the Jesus mess, will ya?'") She writes the teenagers especially well, and communicates with aplomb the distinct angst and anxiety of adolescence."
— Quill & Quire
"No Beautiful Shore is composed of rough, sharp writing, vernacular and precise, poignant and comic." "The characters, and their thoughts and predicaments, are consistently … realistic and engaging. This is a good contemporary story."
— The Telegram
"A half-page into this debut we already catch evidence of a discerning observer at work ... Stone's shifts in point of view come smoothly, spurred by the flow of events. Finely focused scenes gradually coalesce into intersecting human orbits. We enter the minds of at least eight characters, Stone hefting and balanceing the cumulative weight of these worlds with seemingly effortless skill ... The novel can put a glimmer of wry smile on your face for pages, then abruptly raise sorrow from the simplest of circumstances ... A closing treat is the unerring use of setting. Stone's storm-lashed Rock is reborn in grandeur and danger."
— The Globe and Mail
"Stone writes truthfully ... Stone really does deserve to be read. She is going to be a force in Canadian literature."
— The Chronicle Herald
"In her first novel, author Beverley Stone has captured the angst of teenagers struggling to find their way in the world before they've even left home. Stone aptly portrays the tragic reality of many Newfoundland outports today ... With artful use of local dialect, Stone's tragic characters leap off the pages."
— Downhome Magazine
"At times painfully blunt, at others touching and tender, No Beautiful Shore is the story of the girls' plans to get away, and the events that thwart their dreams ... No Beautiful Shore is a well-crafted novel that draws the reader in to care about the girls and to fear, as they do themselves, for their future ... it provides a depth of understanding about life for some in Newfoundland's outports."
— Atlantic Books Today
"Stone's writing is meticulous and deceptively simple ... The character's thoughts in No Beautiful Shore are illuminating, but rarely so illuiminating that the author's presence intrudes."
— Jen Sookfong Lee, author of End of the East
"Stone's beautiful storytelling and poignant characterization makes Wanda's despair palpable. I felt as hopeless and heartbroken as she did."