Donna Morrissey, Author KIT'S LAWDonna Morrissey< $13 (384p) ISBN 978-0-618-10927-2

Suffused with a wonder for the natural world like Thomas Hardy's, and the tart forthrightness of Marilynne Robinson, this atmospheric coming-of-age story marks the promising debut of Canadian scriptwriter Morrissey. It's Newfoundland in the 1950s, but it feels like 1850 in Haire's Hollow, a tiny, remote outpost community. There, 12-year-old Kit Pitman lives in a gully shack with feisty grandmother Lizzy and mentally retarded mother Josie, an often drunk near-vagrant scorned by townsfolk as "the gully tramp." Lizzy tigerishly protects her girls, but when she suddenly dies, local women join forces with the vitriolic Reverend Ropson in a campaign to ship Kit and Josie away. Defended by kindly Doctor Hodgins, Kit and Josie are allowed to remain in the gully shack with frequent visits from babysitters and spies, most notably the minister's teenage son, Sidney. But they are never safe, as a psychopathic murderer named Shine roams Haire's Hollow, and Josie persists in meeting him. Some of Morrissey's secondary characters (like the minister and the doctor) are hackneyed and predictable, but Kit is a fresh, delicately nuanced first-person narrator, who almost imperceptibly blossoms from a wary, joyless preadolescent into a "full-blooded" woman, falling disastrously in love with Sidney. Like her beloved grandmother, Kit is valiant and impulsive, but most fetching is her voice—whether describing Josie's "smell of rotting dogberries" or the big Newfoundland skies—which Morrissey captures with thrilling verve and precision. Agent, Beverly Slopen. Northeast regional author tour; reading group guide. (May 3)

Reviewed on: 04/09/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Analog Audio Cassette - 1 pages - 978-0-86492-283-0
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-670-88601-2
Prebound-Glued - 383 pages - 978-0-613-49408-3
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-14-317158-4
Open Ebook - 408 pages - 978-0-14-318033-3
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-547-63055-7
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