Nineteen-year-old Jackson Bigney begins to change the day he hauls home the body of his father, found dead in a ditch after forty years of steady drinking. Jackson is the spitting image of his dad, a man who gave him nothing but beatings and a fatal taste for booze.
Alone in his large, brawling family, Jackson is inarticulate, gentle, and a fine wood carver. For several drunken years, he earns a meagre living as a bootlegger. One summer, his heart opens to Ian, a fiddler, and for a few weeks he grasps the joy he has craved all his life. In the terrible wake of their affair, trying to recapture the inspiration of Ian’s music, Jackson discovers that hollowness can be the source of power.
“The novel’s characters speak in the rough back-country cadences of the Maritimes and are toughened by the no-work, no-money, no-advantages limitations of rural Maritime life. Yes, these are ‘typical’ Maritimers, but in Little’s care they transcend stereotypes.”– Quill & Quire
“There are books that envelop you so soundly in their moody and definitive sense of place that you are literally lost for days, feel alien in your own world when you gaze up from the words. …Strong Hollow
is a darkly luminous, heart-rending book, a testament to how a family can damage and stymie the individual.”– Globe and Mail
“Linda Little weaves a compassionate and compelling portrait of a family destroyed by poverty and ignorance, and the inarticulate, troubled son who finds a way to save himself … [a] wonderfully kind and intelligent novel.”– Ottawa Citizen
“Beautifully written, the novel demonstrates how courage can overcome DNA.”– Books in Canada