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River Thieves

by Michael Crummey

Life, love and racism in early nineteenth century Newfoundland. Sometimes moves as slowly as the icy landscape in which it is set but keeps you reading to the next bend in the river.

Extract

The two men hadn't seen one another since the August haying on Charles Brook. For years Peyton and Cassie had travelled to Reilly's station at the end of the summer to spend several days in the large meadows of wild grass on the hills behind Reilly's tilt. It was there that Peyton first heard he would be running the trapline alone this season. He and Reilly were sitting on the newly shorn grass, sharing a heel of bread. Reilly pointed at him. There was a confusion of scars like an angry child's drawing across the back of the hand he pointed with. He said, 'John Senior talk to you about running the line this season?'
Peyton looked across at the Irishman. 'He haven't said anything to me different from other years.'
Reilly made a face. 'Well I'm not meant to be saying anything about it maybe. But he's not trapping, he tells me. You're to have a go at it alone.'

Parallels

In the Fall by Jeffery Lent
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
 

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