The Holding (Hardcover)

By Merilyn Simonds

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393060614, 313pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2005



Alyson Thomson has left the city for an abandoned farm in the Madawaska hills of Ontario, with Walker, a potter. There, they live a life of artistic and emotional independence, until eventually the isolation brings to the fore tensions and conflicts within the relationship. After a tragedy enters Alyson's life, she uncovers, in the ruins of a decrepit log cabin, the hidden writings of a young woman who lived on their land more than a hundred years before. As Alyson reads the harrowing tale of Margaret MacBayne, who left behind hardship in a Scottish seacoast town for the Canadian bush in 1859 with the hope of building a new life, she finds Margaret's story comes to parallel her own in disturbing and unpredictable ways. A brilliant illumination of the lives of two women who occupy the same place a century apart, "The Holding reveals the things we keep most guarded, whose truths often lie in unexpected places.

"From the Hardcover edition.