Sonja & Carl

Sonja Danychuk, a serious and introverted student with dirt-poor immigrant parents, takes pride in her intellectual and academic achievements—essential skills to help her survive and eventually leave small-town Davenport in Northern Ontario. When her father is cut down by a fatal heart attack, Sonja must find a way to pay for university, so she agrees to tutor Carl Helbig, her high school’s hockey star and NHL hopeful, despite her strong aversion to his jock-like persona.

Carl graduates and heads toward becoming Rookie of the Year for the Boston Bruins, but concussion-prone, he finds himself in the brain trauma unit of the Toronto General. He and Sonja are once again drawn together, but this time the risks are life-threatening. Sonja is faced with a decision that will impact both her and Carl, and their uncertain future.


Sonja & Carl bears similarities to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic, Anne of Green Gables, though it’s set at the turn of this millennium.

“The story of Sonja & Carl is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It begins in their senior year of high school, and the evolution of their connection through the following years. Set in a small town in Northern Ontario, the story centres on Carl’s hockey skills and Sonja’s intellect: two opposites and the physical and emotional forces that bring them together and pull their lives apart. The piecing together of their connection was sweet and intriguing, and quickly tragic . . . This is Suzanne Hillier’s first novel, and I look forward to reading her future works.”


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320 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 0.75in


May 16, 2017



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FICTION / Literary

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