Dimensions:8.5in x 5.5 x 0.54 in | 0.58 lb
Page Count:236 pages
Everything seems broken in Suzanna Ricci's life. Only 42, her marriage to Len has disintegrated. Her relationship to their teenage boys, Robin and Logan, is in need of repair. Now her mother, 'that martial soul,' wants her to restore the family home in Acqua Sacra, damaged by earthquake. And she doesn't care how many trips from Montreal to their vivid Italian patria of Abruzzo her daughter has to make. At least when Len, a dodgy accountant, encourages her to take a job with a Montreal law firm headed by a man named Robert Bliss, Suzanna feels hopeful of being freer of her ex. Until she realizes the crazy cost of disentangling herself, and not just from him or his 'associates.' Old World skepticism kicks at New World concerns in Acqua Sacra, Keith Henderson's brisk new novel about private deception and public corruption. His cast includes an honest architect, a gutsy office clerk, the modern-day witch of a drained lake, and at least one (reformed) dirt-digging lawyer. But what is Suzanna to do when the mob and their extralegal cross-border political shenanigans invade her life? While Montreal's underworld seems as full of venomous snakes and mean dogs as the Abruzzo mountains, Roman history, Italian mafiosi, dutiful Canadians, and migrant African workers collide, headlong and bizarrely comedic. At the centre of the crash, stunned and sheep-like, lies Suzanna. Henderson, the author ofThe Roof Walkers, again delivers an entertaining and perceptive story in Acqua Sacra about the nature of personal responsibility, this time in an age of multinational delinquency. If Suzanna survives the wreckage, it'll be by honouring the true meaning of 'family' in any global village.
Keith Henderson has published four other novels with DC Books, The Restoration (1992), The Beekeeper (1990), The Roof Walkers (2013) and Sasquatch and the Green Sash (2018), political essays from when he was Quebec correspondent for the Financial Post (Staying Canadian, 1997), as well as a prize-winning book of short stories (The Pagan Nuptials of Julia, 2006). He led a small provincial political party in Quebec during the separatist referendum of 1995 and championed anglo language rights and the strategy of partitioning Quebec if ever Quebec partitioned Canada. He has taught Canadian Literature for many years.
'Thanks to a bizarre scene in which Suzanna is knocked unconscious by a sheep in Italy, the heroine may strike the reader as a metaphor for a world thats had the wool pulled over its eyes, but, despite itself, is starting to see. Alluding to Psalm 51:8, she muses that things are undoubtedly broken so that they may rejoice, probably in the mending, that small, humble fixing and repair people everywhere had to care about. Ultimately, Suzannas struggle and apparent misfortune serve as catalysts for new levels of awareness and growth, suggesting that things sometimes need to fall apart before they can be built back up, stronger than before.' -- Kimberley Bourgeois, The Montreal Review of Books, Fall, 2016