Solitary, nostalgic Liz Crane returns to her family's now-deserted farmhouse to study the migratory habits of the Monarch butterfly. A rich family history - all the anecdotes and blarney of successful Irish immigrants - is now tainted with sadness. Her cousin Amanda, a gifted military strategist, has been killed in Afghanistan, a loss foreshadowed by the earlier disappearance of her charismatic father. Reflecting on the fragility and transcience of human life and relations - mirrored in the Monarchs' restless flight - Liz finds that love is there to be found where you least expect it.
Scotiabank Giller Prize 2010.
'Urquhart's writing is poetic, in the sense that it is beautifully compact and restrained when describing the most powerful emotions' The Times. 'Urquhart's style is reminiscent of that of the Pulitzer-winner Marilynne Robinson' Mary Morrissey, Irish Times. 'Urquhart handles the layers of narrative with lyrical aplomb' Susan Elderkin, Financial Times. 'A delicate work of rare beauty' Lucy Popescu, Independent.
Jane Urquhart is the author of six novels including Away, The Stone Carvers and A Map of Glass, as well as a collection of short fiction and four volumes of poetry. She lives in Ontario and spends part of the year in Ireland.