From a breathtakingly talented new writer: a beautifully written, gripping novel that weaves storytelling magic, life, love, and tragedy into the beauty of the Canadian landscape.
Deloume Road takes us into a hot August month on Vancouver Island during the first Gulf War, to a small rural community where the children’s lives play out unchangingly in the woods and secret places—until they discover an object from the past that will come to haunt them all. Slowly we discover how intertwined are the lives of recent comers with long established neighbours: a Ukrainian butcher who yearns for his wife and small son left behind—and learns something disturbing; a widowed Korean girl who fears for the life of the baby she is carrying; a Native artist whose pilot son has crashed in the wilderness. And behind them all, the shadow of Gerard Deloume, whose suicide in 1899 set off a sequence of events that erupt a century later with violent, tragic consequences.
Matthew Hooton, with lovely skill, and an assured voice, creates an indelible sense of a small community along a country road and the ties that bind us, celebrating the differences and connections between the Korean language and English, between losing a loved one to war and pulling the trigger, about summer and the first rain.
Praise for Matthew Hooton’s Deloume Road:
“Deloume Road is a … delicate meditation on the cyclical nature of history, and the strength of communities. At its heart is a tragedy involving children, yet at the same time it’s life-affirming, offering the full panorama of human experience — birth, death, sorrow and redemption.” —The Observer (UK)
“The history of a remote area of Vancouver Island is traced in a psychogeographical novel that is packed with incident. The peculiar, tortured odyssey of founder Gerald Deloume is interspersed with the dreadful events of a broiling summer … Hooton’s delicate, detailed observations of flora and fauna belie the rising tension.” —The Guardian (UK)
“A picture-perfect setting for a story that is anything but a pretty postcard … Hooton has taken risks with this novel, with its many focalizing voices and its numerous time shifts, but the author handles these challenges smoothly and also does a superior job both of creating suspense and of contrasting humans and nature.” —The Montreal Gazette
“Matthew Hooton’s risky first novel pays off … the risk-taking is refreshing … not only for creating a magnificent boy antihero, but for artfully sustaining a tale of misplaced honour and a resulting sorrow as old as the woods.” —The Globe and Mail
“The land is alive in Hooton’s tale, and the people in it always seem out of place. Theirs is a world of secrets, hidden emotions and time past. While nature buzzes with vitality, the residents drown under history. Deloume may be too wild to tame, but Deloume Road must find its way onto your nightstand.” —Telegraph Journal
“In some ways, reading Deloume Road is like following blogs. The chapters are short, the characters many, and their narratives spill into the larger story which winds gently toward an ending that is hard to see coming … the gentle, insistent sense of drama unfolding is compelling, and Hooton holds his readers’ attention to the very last page.” —The Chronicle Herald (Halifax)
Length: 320 pp
Setting: Vancouver Island, Canada
Canadian rights, Knopf Canada
For all other rights contact Greene & Heaton.
Photocredit: Jo Hurd
Matthew Hooton grew up on Vancouver Island and obtained a BA in Writing from the University of Victoria. He went on to publish non-fiction in several Canadian newspapers and magazines, before moving to England and completing an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where Deloume Road was unanimously awarded the inaugural Greene & Heaton Prize for the best novel to emerge from the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing. He now lives with his wife in Victoria, British Columbia.