The Deception of Livvy Higgs

Publisher: Penguin Canada
For two traumatic days, Livvy Higgs is besieged by a series of small heart attacks while the ghost of her younger self leads her back through a past devastated by lies and secrets. The story opens in Halifax in 2009, travels back to the French Shore of Newfoundland during the mid-thirties and the heyday of the Maritime shipping industry, makes its way to wartorn Halifax during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II, then leaps ahead to the bedside of the elder Livvy.

Caught between a troubled past and her present, worsening living conditions, Livvy is forced to pick apart the untruths told by her greedy, prideful father, Durwin Higgs, who judges her a failure, and her formidable Grandmother Creed, who has mysteriously aligned herself with Livvy’s father, despite their mutual hatred. Writing at the height of her power, Donna Morrissey creates unforgettable characters rooted in a harsh but beguiling landscape. In The Deception of Livvy Higgs, she weaves a powerful tale, the Stone Angel of the East Coast.


"Haunting, emotionally insistent, lyrical and powerful in its portrait of two unforgettable women—Livvy and Gen—whose fates are entwined by a violent act, The Deception of Livvy Higgs is Donna Morrissey's best work yet. Her writing has what Chekhov called "indispensable layering of fact and feeling." Morrissey has brought the WWII era into the present with the disturbing intimacy of a seance. A rare accomplishment." - Howard Norman, author of What Is Left The Daughter

"This hauntingly beautiful novel lingers in the imagination like the sight of a storm-churned ocean, and confirms that Morrissey is one of Canada's great storytellers." - Vincent Lam

"Morrissey's latest effort reaffirms her ability to give voice to female characters whose secrets keep us turning pages." - Quill & Quire