A Reckoning

A Novel

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
As the deeply moving and troubling account of a family's breakdown, A Reckoning is the perfect companion to Linda Spalding's bestselling, award-winning novel, The Purchase.

It opens in the spring of 1855, when John Dickinson is involved in a shameful secret that will require a tragic decision. The family's resources have been wasted by a reckless brother who holds all of them hostage and, adding fuel to John's desperation, the enslaved workers have been visited by a Canadian abolitionist who pushes them to escape. Bry does, and his pursuit of freedom will involve a dangerous quest to find his mother and child in Canada.
     Meanwhile, the Dickinsons become fugitives of another kind, escaping their losses in a wagon en route to the West that will eventually be loaded onto a Missouri river boat for a dark adventure. Forests and rivers prevail in this story, and each person will be tested, especially thirteen-year-old Martin, whose lonely journey with a pet bear is almost mythic.
     Spalding, a Kansas native who lives in Toronto, writes with irresistible force and breathtaking passion. Her language is stunning, her voice unique. A Reckoning confirms her place at the forefront of Canadian literature.

PRAISE FOR

Praise for A Reckoning:

"A Reckoning is an extraordinary novel. A humane and timely examination of how the societies we create—just or profoundly unjust—set the parameters for the people we become. This is a beautiful and brilliant work of art, vulnerable, driven, and unsettling." —Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Praise for The Purchase:

"The Purchase is an epic novel in every way that matters -- in scope, depth, and heart."  —Jury citation, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

"Engrossing. . . . One of the finest historical novels in recent years." —National Post

 "Imbued with the power of myth." —Globe and Mail

"A complex and engaging novel . . . Hardy-esque." —Ottawa Citizen