Hope in the Desperate Hour

Publisher: Emblem Editions
Set in a small town in New Brunswick, this intricate, multi-layered novel revolves around the hapless Shackle family. There is Garth, a promising hockey player whose career has been destroyed; Vicki, his beautiful, self-destructive wife; and Garth’s brother Neil, a successful academic haunted by the life and family he has left behind. Then there is Peter Bathurst, a former Micmac leader desperate to stave off an investigation into his mishandling of band money. Peter’s only hope may be Vicki Shackle, and as the story of their lives unfolds and intersects over the course of a single day, events lead to the novel’s dramatic climax. Hope in the Desperate Hour is a riveting and unforgettable novel that brilliantly juxtaposes the world of the privileged elite with the reality of those to whom life has dealt very different cards.


“Richards’ prose is bared-to-the-bone and as hard as flint.…Compelling.…”
Globe and Mail

“The deft, understated artistry with which Richards conveys his vision is exhilarating.…[He] has spun a beguiling tale.”

“He portrays the nobility of the human spirit even in failure and the inevitable failures of being human. A profoundly moral book, Hope in the Desperate Hour is generous and sympathetic.”
eye Magazine

“[Richards is] a gifted writer whose fiction is among the most powerful in Canada today.”
London Free Press