From a passionate new voice in the world of literary fiction comes the story of one familys struggle to survive-a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit told with great sensitivity and cinematic aplomb.
Spring 1937. Ukrainian immigrant Theo Mykolayenko returns to his wife, Maria, and their five children after nearly a year spent in prison-two hundred and seventy five days and nights, each a scratch on his cell wall-for the crime of stealing grain. Scrapping to make ends meet during Theos absence, the Mykolayenkos had been living under the care of Theos sister, Anna, on the harsh and unforgiving Canadian prairies. Now, home at last, Theo has determined to make a better life for them all. Channeling the willpower that enabled him to survive drought, starvation, warfare, and Stalins crimes in the Ukraine, he takes to the land with great resolve.
As the crops grow, so do the strength of his children and Theos fierce pride. But family peace is quickly disrupted by the return of Annas rogue husband, Stefan. Tensions between the two men heighten as Stefan increasingly treats Theo like a hired hand and demands a cut from the sales of the
crops. Soon, the family is splintered-with brother pitted against sister, son against mother, and in a disturbing twist, a new mother against her newborn.
Building to an unforgettable climax, this is the story of an immigrant family trying to find their way in a new world, where small and innocent acts have enormous and catastrophic consequences. It is a harrowing tale of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sisters, and brothers whose desperate hands till the earth, while equally desperate minds plot much darker deeds.Everything that the Mykolayenkos have hoped for, dreamed of, worked for beyond exhaustion is now at stake-their loved ones, and their lives. Rich in emotion and suspense, this sublimely crafted first novel hails the arrival of a superbly talented literary voice.