Sold in a swift pre-empt to HarperCollins Canada and moving from
New Jersey to Vermont, to Cuba to wartime Italy and Germany, this is an unforgettable story of two men from different backgrounds whose lives are interwoven in the years leading up to, and during, World War II, told with sophistication and aplomb.
Poet and novelist Dennison Smith’s breakout novel The Eye of the Day opens in a small summer-cottage town in Vermont and begins
with an explosion that sends a spike through the head of Amos Cobb, a local man of few words and quiet ways. Amos miraculously
survives and goes on to work each summer for the Shaw-Brown family, including their adolescent and passive son, Aubrey, whose scarred but priviledged life will intersect with Amos’s until the moment they meet for the last time in WWII Italy.
Smith weaves together the lives of these two men, taking readers from Vermont and Princeton to Cuba to Turner Valley and finally the Italian Alps in the last days of World War II, where one man will save the life of the other and transform his own forever. For fans of Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road, the novel features real-life personalities such as Greta Garbo, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, and a vividly menacing portrait of the powerful American tycoon, Irénée DuPont, who helped to supply Nazi war machinery in WWII.
Praise for Dennison Smith:
"[S]urprisingly beautiful in its sheer coldness, from its description of
the heartless Vermont winter to the chilly and dysfunctional
relationships among Aubrey and his family. Smith's novel is a riveting
narrative of survival, self-knowledge, and the possibility of second
— Quill & Quire
"Smith uses her skills honed as a poet, playwright, novelist and actor
to evoke vivid images of the forces of history that buffet The Eye of
the Day's two main characters... her poetic style infuses the narrative
with a magical tone... In The Eye of the Day, she demonstrates the talent
to explore all corners of human and natural existence from the
perspective of the heart."
— Winnipeg Free Press
"Self-consciously cinematic, the plot flirts with the dangerous and the
violent, maximizing its visual power"
— The Globe and Mail
"The Eye of the Day is a remarkable coming-of-age story, told in a
stunning voice that beguiles and enchants on every page. Spanning
decades and continents, Dennison Smith's haunting tale of the young
scion of a wealthy New England family and the disfigured handyman whose
life he saves explores with great beauty and subtlety the notion of
karma — the way a single event can cause a ripple effect that resonates
through time. And these karmic repercussions impact not just the
characters. As it leads us quietly through the horrors of war, oil
extraction, deforestation and industrialization, this novel anticipates
the toll this past century has taken on us all."
— Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
"Smith's The Eye of the Day is an intimate, assured portrait of the
complex, messy lives of a pair of unlikely friends — a privileged boy on
the cusp of manhood and his family's grotesquely scarred handyman. Young
Aubrey's struggle to rise above his circumstances — a neglectful father, a
morally dubious uncle and a dejected, powerless aunt — is completely
— Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls
Length: 316 pp
Genre/Category: Literary Fiction
Setting: New Jersey, Vermont, Canada, Cuba, Italy,
Publication date: Spring 2014
English (Canada) rights, HarperCollins Canada
For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.
|Dennison Smith was born and raised in Vermont and Princeton and has lived in Canada and the UK. She is a published novelist and poet and a produced playwright. She lives in the UK and is currently pursuing an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England and is at work on a new novel.