In a Wide Country
About this Item
The mouth she drew with her red lip-liner was bigger and more shapely than her own, and it made me think, not for the first time, how wonderful life would be if I could draw a better me.
Twelve-year-old Jasper is watching his mother, a sometime model named Corinne, prepare herself for what he does not realize will become an unannounced escape from the life they share in Winnipeg. A short trip out of the city turns into what Corinne calls a summer of adventure, as they drive with no set destination across the prairies. Dean, the generous story-telling boyfriend Corinne is determined to flee, vanishes in the dust rising behind her Corvair - the last and biggest gift he gave her. As Jasper and his mother settle briefly in Edmonton, and then flee again for Vancouver, Jasper feels like an exile from a life in Winnipeg that offered stability, a place to find himself, and - in Dean - a substitute for the father he never knew.
In a Wide Country is the moving story of a mother and son traveling together, but in different directions, across western Canada in the summer of 1961. It's about two people living in a web of stories, spun from their experiences but also from things they've heard, imagined, or misunderstood. In this debut novel by Robert Everett-Green, stories blend into each other from many sources: family anecdotes, movies, newspapers and tales that Corinne improvises at her makeup table.
In a Wide Country is about growing up along the soft border between truth and illusion, and a boy's awakening from a childhood ruled by stories more satisfying than true.
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