Lit Locale: This Unlikely Soil

The five novellas that make up LAMBDA finalist Andrea Routley’s sophomore collection This Unlikely Soil (Caitlin Press) are each by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, and all are set on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Read on to discover why fall might just be beach season, after all.


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Best paired with a beach, tea, and a cozy sweater…It is early fall and you wrap yourself in a sweater, fill your thermos with warm apple-cinnamon tea, and head to your favourite beach along the Sunshine Coast. Bonus points if it has a nice, big rock to lean against and trees to provide shade as you read Andrea Routley’s latest, This Unlikely Soil (Caitlin Press). As you delve into the stories of a rural west-coast community of queer women, you hear the gentle murmur of the waves and, much like Routley’s characters, you let yourself be shaped by the landscape.
Image credit: Lauren Kan, Sechelt, BCThis Unlikely Soil, the sophomore collection from Lambda Literary Award finalist Andrea Routley, is a quintet of linked stories exploring the failures of kindness and connection among contemporary queer women navigating love and life against the lush, isolated backdrop of Canada’s West Coast. A bear with a hemorrhoid, a berried-up Dungeness crab, a perimeter of slugs… this dense coastal landscape does not simply mirror the characters’ lives but influences them. While characters often embody painful histories and cringe-worthy decision-making skills, the stories are full of humour and love.This Unlikely Soil is truly the perfect book to read, wrapped in a warm sweater or blanket, on your next cozy, fall beach day.

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Thanks to Malaika at Caitlin Press for playing tour guide to the stunning lit locale that is the Sunshine Coast in Andrea Routley’s This Unlikely Soil