The captivating new novel by the #1 Canadian bestselling, Giller Prize-winning author of LATE NIGHTS ON AIR and ALONE IN THE CLASSROOM.
Starting with something as simple as a boy who wants a dog, HIS WHOLE LIFE takes us into a richly intimate world where everything that matters to him is at risk: family, nature, home.
At the outset ten-year-old Jim and his Canadian mother and American father are on a journey from New York City to a lake in eastern Ontario during the last hot days of August. What unfolds is a completely enveloping story that spans a few pivotal years of his youth. Moving from city to country, summer to winter, wellbeing to illness, the novel charts the deepening bond between mother and son even as the family comes apart.
Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec is on the verge of leaving Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming of age story as only Elizabeth Hay could tell it. It draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty, and nuanced portrait of the lives of one family and those closest to it. Hay explores the mystery of how members of a family can hurt each other so deeply, and remember those hurts in such detail, yet find openings that shock them with love and forgiveness. This is vintage Elizabeth Hay at the height of her powers.
[She has an] evocative grace that brings to mind Annie Proulx - Washington Post
Hay creates enormous spaces with few words, and makes the reader party to the journey, listening, marvelling - Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH HAY is the author of the #1 bestseller Late Nights on Air (2008), which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include Alone in the Classroom (2012) and His Whole Life (2015). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award, and for All Things Consoled she was the winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Award for Non-fiction. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.