The Shore | Penguin Random House Canada

The Shore

Publisher: Bond Street Books
Welcome to The Shore: a collection of small islands sticking out from the coast of Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean. Where clumps of evergreens meet wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, storm-making and dark magic in the marshes. . .
     Situated off the coast of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay, the group of islands known as the Shore has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to flee an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love.
     Together their stories form a deeply affecting legacy of two barrier island families, illuminating 150 years of their many freedoms and constraints, heartbreaks, and pleasures. Conjuring a wisdom and beauty all its own, The Shore is a richly unique, stunning novel that will resonate with readers long after turning its final pages, establishing Sara Taylor as a promising new voice in fiction.


Nominated for the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Finalist for the Guardian First Book Award
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Prize

"The Shore bursts with energy and ambition. . . . The novel's meth-heads and resourceful child delinquents spark off the page, sometimes with terrifying realism." —The New York Times

"The Shore is most reminiscent [of] William Faulkner, albeit with some updates. . . . In both ambition and execution, a remarkable debut." —The Globe and Mail

"This ambitious and magical novel is made all the more remarkable by its muscular prose redolent with atmosphere."
The Daily Mail (UK)

"A Southern-gothic delight. . . . This debut is a testament to an exuberant talent and an original, fearless sensibility. It’s also enormous fun to read."
The Guardian (UK)

"An isolated stretch of coastal Virginia provides the eerie backdrop for a series of interconnecting tales of entrapment and escape. . . . An ideal setting for illuminating the course of Life over Time."
Kirkus Reviews

“[A] remarkable first novel, an intricately plotted series of episodes in the life of two families that interlink and interbreed over 170 years. . . . The climax of their story is extraordinary and unexpected. Taylor is a terrific storyteller with a flawless narrative voice and, as a portrait of the impoverished rural south, this novel is a real achievement. . . . The Shore is a mesmerising, powerful read.” —The Times (UK)
“A vivid exploration of the struggle for autonomy and the many meanings of what we call home.” —Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
“I loved this book. Redemption and revenge thread through these tales of lives at the margins. Epic in breadth but glittering in its detail. The Shore is utterly absorbing.” —Catherine O’Flynn, author of What Was Lost
The Shore brilliantly evokes, in fascinating and completely convincing detail, the eerie beauty of a landscape of marsh and mudflats, that is as alien as Mars, and against which the inhabitants play out their impoverished and violent lives through successive generations of strong women, mothers, daughters, wives, over two centuries, culminating in an apocalyptic future. This is not a novel for the faint hearted but dare to read it for the sinuous fluency of the writing.” —Maureen Duffy, author of The Microcosm
"Part Southern Gothic and part dystopian novel, Taylor's beautifully crafted stories of darkness and light are unique and reveal a depth of imagination that seems to belong to a much older writer. . . . [Taylor] reminds us that light and dark are a part of human nature. This is not a happy-ever-after novel; rather, it is a dreamy, magical story of people and how they persevere." 
—The Post and Courier

“Reminiscent of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and just as ambitious.” —Stylist (UK)
“Lyrical writing and quietly tragic storytelling.” —Huffington Post

From the Hardcover edition.