Mary Rose Donnelly
Great Village


Great Village by Mary Rose DonnellyRetired schoolteacher Flossy O'Reilly of Great Village, Nova Scotia, well into her eighties, inhabits a calm world surrounded by piles of books, among them her most-beloved writers, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bishop. With worsening chest pains, exacerbated by the arrival of an unwelcome teenager, she fully expects her long life is ebbing away.

With the whisper of death at her back, details of the distant past return to Flossy with startling clarity, such as her father's tragic drowning on Cobequid Bay. By necessity, her delicate older brother Thomas was compelled to take over the family farm but within two years misfortune visits again. After a morning spent cutting hay along the south dyke, Thomas brings the team back to the barn, returns to the house and mysteriously slips upstairs to his bed where he will stay for over twenty years.

Though most of her life is now simplified and predictable, nothing can shield Flossy from the blow from nowhere that shatters all that was known and understood. Such ripples as a drowning man makes do not stop at the shore. Her father's death and the family's culture of secrecy all catch up to Flossy as she must ultimately confront the deceptions and shame of the long-hidden past.

Praise for Mary Rose Donnelly’s Great Village:

“With intriguing characters, an engaging writing style and a plot rich with surprising developments, Donnelly’s first novel kept this reader turning pages into the early hours of the morning. Great Village, in my opinion, is a great novel by a gifted writer.” —Atlantic Books Today

“Donnelly, a journalist, editor and gardener, has a wonderful sense of Maritime life and voice. She is also a master storyteller who, in Great Village, weaves effortlessly, to and fro, across the 20th century, binding art, literature, the natural world and human nature together into a tale that sparkles like sunlight on the waves of Cobequid Bay.” —Telegraph Journal

Genre/Category: literary fiction
Setting: Canada

Canadian rights, Cormorant Books

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

    Mary Rose Donnelly spends her time editing, writing garden articles, and tending and designing numerous gardens.