“With the charming and very funny Tink, Krueger has created an unforgettable character whose innocent curiosity busts through the societal conventions of early 1960s Canada. This is a masterful depiction of an atmosphere tense with fear and fuelled by grownup transgressions, where adult morality is contaminated by politics that tear communities apart.” — Sheila Murray, author of Finding Edward
It’s 1961, and Mary Alice (Tink) Parker lives with her parents in a Vancouver suburb where many fathers are traumatized veterans of the Second World War and almost all the mothers are housewives. They believe they’ve earned secure and prosperous lives after the sacrifices they made during the war. But under the conformist veneer seethe conflicts and secrets that make the serenity of Grouse Valley precarious.
This is the story of the unravelling of a neighbourhood. It’s told by Tink, an eccentric child who is funny, observant, and impossibly nosy, who has an unnerving tendency to blurt whatever’s on her mind. Bucolic at first, the story darkens as McCarthy-era paranoia infects the adults and spills over into the lives of the children. The parents of Tink’s best friend Norman are schoolteachers with leftist beliefs. When the Cuban Missile Crisis threatens, Norman’s parents face a witch hunt while the boy becomes a target of bullies. Tink does her best to defend Norman. But as she looks for help, she stumbles on a web of secrets that triggers events beyond anyone’s control. Gripping and perceptive, the novel portrays a divided era with eerie similarities to our own.
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Lesley Krueger is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She has written six novels, including Mad Richard and Time Squared, two collections of short stories, and a travel memoir. She lives in Toronto, ON.
Published: October 2023
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“With the charming and very funny nine-year-old Tink, Krueger has created an unforgettable character whose innocent curiosity busts through the societal conventions of early 1960s Canada. This is a masterful depiction of an atmosphere tense with fear and fuelled by grown-up transgressions, where adult morality is contaminated by politics that tear communities apart.” — Sheila Murray, author of Finding Edward
“The character of Tink is especially well-drawn as she observes much and understands little...This engrossing book sets the simplicity of friendship between two children against a framework of international politics.” — Historical Novel Society