Sweetness from Ashes

Set partially in Vancouver, partially on a farm in rural Ontario and partially in West Africa, Sweetness from Ashes is a novel about family in its various forms. When Sheila, Jenny and Chris decide to respect a deceased relative’s wishes, and return the ashes to the family farm, the three begin a journey that takes them from their present-day lives in Vancouver to a deeper discovery of their roots and the family’s past. In Ontario, they meet their cousins and start to reconcile with a buried history. Mixed into the story is a book that Jenny is editing, a memoir of an Englishman living in the colonial Gold Coast in the 1950s. The link goes beyond the manuscript and interweaves with the Ontario family farm, and the new generation of people who have come home.

Sweetness from Ashes is a vibrant novel with a voice and perspective that is contemporary but gives a nod to the past.


The story is a lovely one . . . Horsdal manages to show that while prejudice is alive, it is diminishing. —Times Colonist

A vibrant novel that begins to evolve when a death brings generations together and allows family stories to emerge. —Canadian Bookseller

Sweetness from Ashes is a confident and accomplished debut. —January Magazine

[Sweetness from Ashes] invites us to live a more fully eamined life and move from lament to realization and resolution. —Focus Magazine, May 2010

Sweetness from Ashes was named one of the Best Fiction Titles of 2010 by January Magazine.

Horsdal has done well at creating a cast of nuanced, likeable characters. —Gulf Islands Driftwood


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264 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * .25in


January 19, 2010



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FICTION / General

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