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The Innocents (2019)

de Michael Crummey

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3522372,319 (3.95)72
"A novel about an orphaned brother and sister who must fend for themselves on a remote fishing outpost in the late 1800s"--
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Back to Newfoundland with Michael Crummey, this time with two orphans stranded in a remote area where they have to scrabble together an existence and stay alive. A bit of unsavory subject matter, but the writing is superb as always. ( )
  JBD1 | Jun 25, 2023 |
A very good read by a Canadian author. Survival, isolation and growing up quick are the themes in this book. Set in Newfoundland many (~150ish?) years ago, when each day was a struggle for survival. A story of siblings making due with what they were taught at a young age. Only knowing what happens on the cove, and the rest of the world a fairy tale they hear from the infrequent strangers arriving by a boat with their provisions for the year as well as to pay off their debts with the fish they collected over the summer. Very graphic at times, and occasionally inappropriate for some readers, but would definitely recommend, and will keep Michael Crummey as a go to author in the future. ( )
  sjh4255 | Nov 21, 2022 |
When Ada and Evered’s parent both die, they are still young. It’s the 19th century and they live in an isolated area in Newfoundland. They do what they can to survive.

I listened to the audio. It was slow-moving and I couldn’t get interested, though the Newfoundland accents and phrases are fun. I missed much of what happened in the book, but I didn’t really care, either. I’m not sure how old the kids were when their parents died and not sure how old they were at the end of the book, either. It was a bit ugly as they became teenagers with no one else around, though. When I saw this book was nominated for a few awards, that explained it for me (my not liking it). ( )
  LibraryCin | Sep 25, 2022 |
What an incredible story! Michael Crummey puts you right inside the minds of two young children trying to survive on an isolated bay in early Newfoundland, after the death of their parents and baby sister. They are true innocents, with no knowledge of the world beyond the hard life they have experienced in their own family, and no way to get help. This book is very hard to read in places because of the suffering depicted, but impossible to put down, as you hope things will get better for them. The book is full of colourful old Newfoundland expressions and slang, making the story so real. It really comes to life when a ship arrives looking for some mature forest to replace its broken mast, and the children are able to help them. Highly recommended. ( )
  Scrabblenut | Sep 20, 2021 |
Evered and Ada live with their parents on an bleak and isolated Newfoundland cove. The family scrapes out a living fishing and subsistence farming. Then, their infant sister and their mother die, and soon after their father dies, leaving them, about ages 12 and 10, to survive on their own. We follow them over several years as they fish, salt the fish and sell them to a supply ship that appears twice a year, their only human contact with the outside world. Later they begin to do a bit of fur trapping as well. Life is rough and hard, but they seem to be making it work, if barely.

This was a well-written story of self-sufficiency and surviving in the elements in the wilderness in the not so distant past. Nature is a huge part of this story. Even though this was not a "thriller", it was a page-turner for me. I couldn't wait to find out what happened to these kids.

*********************POSSIBLE SPOILER BELOW*************************************

The bad Amazon reviews seemed primarily related to the hints of incest as the children grew older. This may bother some people.

*************************END SPOILER******************************************

Recommended.

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Dec 3, 2020 |
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"A novel about an orphaned brother and sister who must fend for themselves on a remote fishing outpost in the late 1800s"--

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