All the Things We Leave Behind

By (author): Riel Nason

Shortlisted for the New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction

A novel of absence and adolescence by the author of the award-winning The Town That Drowned.

It’s 1977. Seventeen-year-old Violet is left behind by her parents to manage their busy roadside antique stand for the summer. Her restless older brother, Bliss, has disappeared, leaving home without warning, and her parents are off searching for clues. Violet is haunted by her brother’s absence while trying to cope with her new responsibilities. Between visiting a local hermit, who makes twig furniture for the shop, and finding a way to land the contents of the mysterious Vaughan estate, Violet acts out with her summer boyfriend, Dean, and wonders about the mysterious boneyard. But what really keeps her up at night are thoughts of Bliss’s departure and the white deer, which only she has seen.

All the Things We Leave Behind is about remembrance and attachment, about what we collect and what we leave behind. In this highly affecting novel, Nason explores the permeability of memory and the sometimes confusing bonds of human emotion.

AUTHOR

Riel Nason

Riel Nason is a writer and textile artist. She is the author of three novels (including one for middle-grade readers), a children’s picture book, and two books on quilting. The Town That Drowned was her debut novel. It won the Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. She lives in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

Reviews

All the Things We Leave Behind is full of sensory detail and evocative prose, and like its author, Riel Nason, is a gift to Canadian literature. From the cheerful Purple Barn antique shop, to the mysitical boneyard deep in the woods, to a missing brother named Bliss, main character Violet carries us effortlessly through this lovely coming-of-age story not afraid to show its haunting side.”
– Karma Brown

“A powerful rumination on the universal aches of loss, existential dread, and adolescence.”
“Nason has written a tender and loving portrayal of one young girl grappling with absence in a world crowded with the past. Full of heart, honesty and beauty.”
– Brian Francis

“This book is about much more than a summer spent growing up. It’s about the meaning of life and death and how a person copes with a great loss. It’s about haunting and spiritual messages and whether we’re open to receiving them. It’s about siblings — both the fun memories and the complex relationships they share.”
– Tracy Sherlock

“Filled with strong characters and objects of forgotten desire — perfume bottles, tintypes, rabbit-eared chairs — Riel Nason’s All the Things We Leave Behind subtly unravels the mind’s delusions and the past’s seduction. Haunting, bittersweet.”
– Beth Powning

Awards

  • New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction 2017, Short-listed
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    Shortlisted for the New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction

    A novel of absence and adolescence by the author of the award-winning The Town That Drowned.

    It’s 1977. Seventeen-year-old Violet is left behind by her parents to manage their busy roadside antique stand for the summer. Her restless older brother, Bliss, has disappeared, leaving home without warning, and her parents are off searching for clues. Violet is haunted by her brother’s absence while trying to cope with her new responsibilities. Between visiting a local hermit, who makes twig furniture for the shop, and finding a way to land the contents of the mysterious Vaughan estate, Violet acts out with her summer boyfriend, Dean, and wonders about the mysterious boneyard. But what really keeps her up at night are thoughts of Bliss’s departure and the white deer, which only she has seen.

    All the Things We Leave Behind is about remembrance and attachment, about what we collect and what we leave behind. In this highly affecting novel, Nason explores the permeability of memory and the sometimes confusing bonds of human emotion.

    Reader Reviews

    Details

    Dimensions:

    240 Pages
    8.5in * 5.5in * .5994in
    316gr

    Published:

    September 13, 2016

    Publisher:

    Goose Lane Editions

    ISBN:

    9780864920416

    9780864927316 – EPUB

    9780864929273 – MobiPocket

    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary

    Language:

    eng

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