The Fortunate Brother | Penguin Random House Canada
We have updated our Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018, to clarify how we collect and process your personal data. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the updated Privacy Policy.

The Fortunate Brother

Publisher: Viking
Winner of the 2017 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, Best Novel

Winner of the 2017 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

A powerful tale of a family reeling from the tragic loss of a son, while facing a mysterious murder on their doorstep--told by one of Canada's most beloved voices

After being uprooted from their fishing outport, the Now family is further devastated by the tragic loss of their eldest son, Chris, who died working on an Alberta oil rig. Kyle Now is still mourning his older brother when the murder of a local bully changes everything. The victim's blood is found on the family's pier, and suspicion falls first on an alienated wife, and then finally on the troubled Now family.
     But behind this new turmoil, Chris's death continues to plague the family. Father Sylvanus Now drowns his sorrow in a bottle, while mother Addie is facing breast cancer. And the children fight their own battles as the tension persists between Kyle and his sister, Sylvie, over her role in their brother's death.
     A cast of vivid characters surrounds the Now family, some intriguing, others comical--all masterfully crafted. As the murder mystery unfolds, other deeper secrets are revealed. Wise in the ways of the heart, The Fortunate Brother is a moving family drama from beloved storyteller Donna Morrissey.


His father  was sitting at the table by the window, drinking coffee, when he came out of the shower. Addie was laying a plate of beans and runny egg yolks before him and Kyle’s stomach curdled and he lunged for the door. Holding on to the grump, he spewed into the water, his ribs spearing through his side...
Read More


Winner of the 2017 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, Best Novel

Winner of the 2017 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

“Donna Morrissey is one of our country’s finest writers. And this novel might very well be her most powerful to date … I can’t recommend this book highly enough.” —Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda
“If you are ‘away’ and have never been to Newfoundland nor met the Now family, read The Fortunate Brother. You will feel you have. —Roberta Rich, author of The Midwife of Venice
“Donna Morrissey is a fine storyteller with a deep love of her people.” Kurt Palka, author of The Piano Maker

"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 greatest storytellers." —Vincent Lam, praising The Deception of Livvy Higgs

“[Morrissey’s] honed her craft and taken heed of some justified criticism to produce substantive, elegiac, and, in the case of her latest, suspenseful work…. Morrissey is a terrific mood-setter, something she does not via political, stylistic, or cultural references but through the expertly rendered dialogue whose rhythms and staccato ‘gawd-damns’ function as the novel’s soundtrack. The latter, along with her descriptive abilities, are Morrissey’s signal strengths and the undisputed stars of this novel.” —The Globe and Mail
“Donna Morrissey, born in Newfoundland and now living in Nova Scotia, is one of our most talented Canadian writers. She has consistently written powerful stories of Newfoundlanders struggling with the difficulties of living in an outport village, and the addiction and abuse that sometimes occurs in such isolated places. She writes beautifully about, often, very sad situations…. Ultimately The Fortunate Brother is a story of loss, grief and mourning—and hope.” —Parry Sound North Star

“Donna Morrissey is an absolute terrific original.” –David Adams Richards

“Irresistible… Masterful… The rich, rocky terrain of Newfoundland has borne a native storyteller with talent to burn in Donna Morrissey.” –Dublin Sunday Tribune

“Donna Morrissey is a wonderfully gifted writer. The setting of her books is Newfoundland, but their appeal is universal. She unashamedly cares for her characters and sees them as real people with real lives worth caring and reading about. To read one of her books is to wind up laughing or crying or somehow doing both at once.” –Wayne Johnston

“Everything is hyper-vivid in Morrissey’s world, not excluding emotions, dreams and unresolved conflicts… Morrissey reveals the beauty and the terror of two economic realities, worlds apart from us and from each other.” –Toronto Star