A year after watching Leo go through thin ice, twelve-year-old Ferd is obsessed with the idea that he can persuade hisdead brother to come home through a campaign of letters.Plaintive notes appear around the house—folded squaresof paper in the rain reservoir, kitchen sink, and washingmachine. Ferd’s mother, Algoma, is also unravelling;attempting to hide her son’s letters, reconnect with herincreasingly distant husband, and rebuild her life.
Dani Couture is the author of three collections of poetry and the novel Algoma. Her work has been nominated for the Trillium Award for Poetry, received an honour of distinction from the Writers? Trust of Canada?s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and won the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications in Canada, the US and the UK, and in several editions of Best Canadian Poetry in English.
It was Algoma, the youngest of all of them. Someone who was closer to being a family mascot than a sister. She also carried the notable distinction of being the only non-twin of her siblings. “My only mistake,” Ann often said when referring to her youngest. She’d said she was joking, but everyone knew otherwise, especially Algoma. Like the Dionne Quints in Ontario, Ann had hoped to achieve reproductive fame, but it never came. She blamed it on two factors: that one set of siblings was not identical and that Algoma had come out alone. “Wanted the womb all for yourself, didn’t you,” she’d said when her newborn daughter was brought to her for the first time.
To read Dani Couture’s Algoma is to be reminded of theaching beauty of loss, the thin, pale terror of hope, and thestrength and sacrifice required just for living, day by day.Haunting and fundamentally human, Algoma is a gift.