Tuesday 29 January 2013

Anna from Away

Finished January 28
Anna from Away by D.R. MacDonald

This novel is set in Cape Breton near the end of the 20th century. Anna has come to Cape Breton from California as her marriage is ending. Her husband Chet has found a younger woman that he has chosen over her. Anne is an artist and was attracted to Cape Breton by tales of the quality of its light, and by the photos of the house she has rented for the year. She arrives in late February, and adjusts quickly to the unexpected remoteness of the house, and to the weather. She walks every day, not letting the weather restrict her, and finds herself combing the edge of the water for items that have washed ashore. She draws the objects and other items from nature and makes metal sculptures.
Her nearest neighbour is Murdock, a man about 15 years older than her who is mourning the woman he loved who has recently died. Murdock is just beginning to emerge from his grief and finds himself drawn to Anna. Also nearby is a young vibrant woman Breagh who is starting her own clothing store "down north" with a friend, and who is a single mom to her young daughter. She has a sometime boyfriend, Livingstone, who is a man intent on his own needs and desires and loyal to no one.
Anna, and her neighbours along the coast have been told by the RCMP to watch for suspicious activity as there are suspected drug runners along the coast, and when a bale of marijuana washes up on Anna's beach, her reaction to it, and her involvement of Murdock, lead to a new story.
An interesting story, with a real sense of place. Anna is a woman between lives here and this experience at Cape Breton is a interlude in her life. But the others live here all the time and it is she who is an interruption to their lives.


  1. I've been looking for suggestions for Canada for my Global Reading Challenge, so thank you for suggesting this. Sounds like an interesting read. Not 100% crime fiction, would you say?

  2. No Marina definitely not 100% crime fiction. I'd definitely recommend it.