Coventry Cover


By Helen Humphreys

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393067200, 179pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2009


Helen Humphreys draws on history to delve into the lives torn asunder by the German attack of November 14, 1940. Harriet, a widow from World War I, is atop Coventry Cathedral, part of the nightly watch, when first the factories and then the church itself are set on fire. In the ensuing chaos she bonds with a young man, very much like the husband she lost, who relies on her to find the way back to his home where he left his mother. On their journey through a hell of burning shops and collapsed homes, Harriet awakens to emotions she had long put aside. At home, the youth's mother awaits his arrival and rethinks the life that has brought her to this city and her life raising her son alone. Ultimately, together these two women must face a world as immeasurably changed as their own selves.

About the Author
HELEN HUMPHREYS s memoir, Nocturne, was widely acclaimed, and her most recent novel, The Reinvention of Love, was a national bestseller. Coventry was a New York Times Editors Choice, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Humphreys won the the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize for Afterimage and the Toronto Book Award for Leaving Earth; her much-loved novel, The Lost Garden, was a Canada Reads selection. The recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence, Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.