Eleven-year-old Maya Devine has grown up with a warped view of reality. For one, she sees colour around people’s bodies and can sometimes hear what’s going on inside their heads. These insights make everyone a bit more interesting, but the one person she’ll never figure out is her mother. Marigold has never been like other moms, but still, Maya sometimes feels like she is all she has.
When Marigold is diagnosed with cancer and vows to spend her final days in the teepee she’s set up in the backyard, Maya’s life quickly becomes unbearable. Neighbours and strangers, believing Marigold a prophet, camp out in the front yard, and Maya’s father grows ever more distant. Thankfully Maya has Corey Hart, from whose pouty lips “Never Surrender” seems to issue for her and her alone. But Marigold’s death leaves questions unanswered, and there are some wrongs that even Corey Hart can’t right.
Moving from mid-1980s Saskatoon to the Indian countryside almost a decade later, Girl in Shades follows Maya’s search for her mother, her father, and above all, herself. Sweetly funny and deeply perceptive, Girl in Shades offers a fresh take on what it is to grow up and discover who you really are.
Allison Baggio’s fiction and commentaries have appeared in publications all across Canada, including Room, subTerrain, Today’s Parent and the Toronto Star. She is a graduate of York University and the Humber School for Writers. Girl in Shades is her first novel. She lives in Whitby, ON.
Published: October 2011
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“An immensely satisfying coming-of-age tale and a remarkable first novel.” — Chatelaine Magazine
“The feelings are always authentic and well rendered.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“An intimate, character driven drama . . . Girl in Shades is a poignant coming of age story as Maya struggles to understand and overcome the truths and lies that define her.” — Book’d Out
“Baggio has a well-accomplished background in writing, which helps explain her undeniable talent.” — Whitby This Week
“Baggio’s colorful writing and quirky imagery give life to the story as a whole, propping up even the direst of circumstances. . . . It’s not outwardly funny, but quietly humorous, like the whole thing is an inside joke between the reader and the author.” — The Weekender