“The writing here is trip-wire taut as the exploration of guilt, family, and duty unfolds.” —2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury
Haunted by the vivid horrors of the Vietnam War, exhausted from years spent battling his memories, Napoleon Haskell leaves his North Dakota trailer and moves to Canada. He retreats to a small Ontario town where Henry, the father of his fallen Vietnam comrade, has a home on the shore of a man-made lake. Under the water is the wreckage of what was once the town - and the home where Henry was raised. When Napoleon's daughter arrives, fleeing troubles of her own, she finds her father in the dark twilight of his life, and rapidly slipping into senility. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about his life; and through the fog, Napoleon's past begins to emerge.
Lyrical and riveting, The Sentimentalists is a story of what lies beneath the surface of everyday life, and of the commanding power of the past. Johanna Skibsrud's first novel marks the debut of a powerful new voice in Canadian fiction.
- May 2011
- 5.9 × 8.6 in
/ 208 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“[An] intricate story about the crushing power of experience…Skibsrud’s assured prose and graceful wordplay elevate this delicately structured story of redemption and forgiveness, and her storytelling is so refined and subtle that the punch at the end, while fully anticipated, still has a leveling power.” — Publishers Weekly
“A solid debut and a beautiful tribute to a father-daughter relationship.” — The Globe and Mail
“Skibsrud knows what she's doing: The slow fuse of the novel's first half turns out to be a very effective setup for the explosive second.” — National Post
“I read it twice, and it’s amazing even the second time, and I think it would be even more amazing the third time. She’s a tremendous stylist.” — Michael Enright, host of CBCs The Sunday Edition
Also by Johanna Skibsrud