So begins this fast-paced, tightly wound, funny and quirky first novel from a fresh new voice in Canadian fiction. Follow Beth, well-meaning but ultimately misguided, through one night on the streets as she frantically searches for the boy she has lost, ruminates on the shopping cart as a status symbol, loses her shoes, meets a writer, knocks herself out cold, discovers romaine lettuce as a hair accessory, and maybe — just maybe — falls in love after all.
Lee Kvern is the award-winning author of short stories and novels. Novels: Afterall and The Matter of Sylvie were nominated for the Alberta Book Awards, Sylvie was long-listed for the Relit Award. Her short stories are also well celebrated: "White" was the national winner of the CBC Literary Awards, "I May Have Known You" was nominated for the Howard 'O'Hagan Award, and "Detachment" was a finalist in the Malahat Open Season. Her work has been produced for CBC Radio, and published in Event, Descant, and enRoute, and on Joyland.ca (New York) and Foundpress.com.
Please visit www.leekvern.com or follow Lee on Twitter @LeeKvern.
On a Wednesday in July 1961, Jacqueline Burrows begins her day perched on the cool concrete of her front steps, smoking. Jacqueline is the mother of three children, including her sweet, difficult daughter, Sylvie. It's only 7:00 AM, but Jacqueline's children are awake and tearing through the neighborhood.
In a story that deals with the extraordinary challenges of raising a child with severe special needs, The Matter of Sylvie traces the course of Jacqueline's Wednesday, a life-shifting day. The mother's impulses, combined with the stress of her other young children and the absence of her police officer husband, culminate in an event that echoes into the next two decades. A familial triptych: as the fate of one child resounds in the individual, pivotal Wednesdays of both Jacqueline's husband, Lloyd, in February of 1973, and her adult daughter, Lesa, in October of 1987.
Three Wednesdays, three decades, three narrators whose lives are intricately woven in this novel of dark and light. The Matter of Sylvie explores the depths of mother, father and daughter-and ultimately, the matter of Sylvie herself.