Crow Lake

Mary Lawson| Fiction, 2002

295 pages


Crow Lake is described as a “slow-burning” novel.  Set in rural northern Ontario, the story reflects the flat hardship of the terrain.  Kate, her older brothers Matt and Luke, and her baby sister Bo are orphaned ... and survive together, alone, with the help of their local community.  Twenty years later, the poignancy of their stories, and the ways they supported and abandoned one another in their tightly woven familial bonds, continue to impact their lives.

I enjoyed this story, though I won’t give it a wholehearted endorsement.  It is a quiet story that will bring to mind your relationships with your siblings, if you have any.  I was particularly enamored by the setting, as most of my family lives in Ontario.  A personal favorite interaction, which may not bring a smile to your face unless you are Ontario-savvy, is this:

I said, “Haven’t you ever been up north?”

He pondered.  “Barrie.  I’ve been to Barrie.”

“Barrie!  Good God, Daniel!  Barrie’s not north!

Pg 38


One response on “Crow Lake

  1. mary cary Crawford

    That’s right. Barrie is NOT north. North of Toronto but not truly north. But you know that. I’m pretty sure I read this years ago. And enjoyed it.

    In Michigan, anywhere north of Lansing is considered “Northern Michigan.” But we know that’s not true. Northern Michigan begins north of the Bridge.