First Fiction Friday: Sombrio

Set on the outer coast of Vancouver Island, Rhonda Waterfall’s “vivid, hallucinatory” novel Sombrio (Gordon Hill Press) pits three men – and their wild ambitions – against what a lifetime of self-aggrandizing decisions have wrought for their children. See why this book needs to be added to your TBR below.


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Sombrio (Gordon Hill Press, 2022)Who:Rhonda Waterfall is the author of the short story collection, The Only Thing I Have (Arsenal Pulp Press), and the novels, The Strait of Anian (Now or Never Publishing) and Sombrio (Gordon Hill Press). She was born in what is now the ghost town of Ocean Falls on the west coast of Canada and currently lives in Toronto.Why you need to read this now:This novel follows three men who are certain of their artistic genius as they retreat to a squatter’s shack in the BC wilderness. As they await what they think is the end of the world, their interactions become an exploration of a particular masculinity that uses the idea of artistic genius to justify ignoring the responsibilities of being fathers, partners, friends, and members of society.X + Y Sombrio is a little like taking the character of Reynolds Woodcock from Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Phantom Thread, cloning him twice over with all his certainly of genius and complete disregard for the needs of others, then trapping the three of them in the wilderness like Charles Morse and Bob Green from David Mamet’s The Edge.

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Thanks to the folks at Gordon Hill Press for sharing Sombrio with us! For more First Fiction Friday, click here.