Effigy

Effigy

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
5
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A stunning novel of loss, memory, despair and deliverance by one of Canada's best young fiction writers, set on a Mormon ranch in nineteenth-century Utah.

Dorrie, a shock-pale child with a mass of untameable black hair, cannot recall anything of her life before she recovered from an illness at seven. A solitary child, she spends her spare time learning the art of taxidermy, completely fascinated by the act of bringing new and eternal life to the bodies of the dead. At fourteen, her parents marry her off to Erastus Hammer, a polygamous horse breeder and renowned hunter, who does not want to bed her. The role he has in mind for his fourth and youngest wife is creator of trophies of his most impressive kills, an urgent desire in him as he is slowly going blind. Happy to be given this work, Dorrie secludes herself in her workshop, away from Mother Hammer's watchful eyes and the rivalry between the elder wives.

But as the novel opens, Hammer has brought Dorrie his latest kills, a family of wolves, and for the first time in her short life she struggles with her craft, dreaming each night of crows and strange scenes of violence. The new hand, Bendy Drown, is the only one to see her dilemma and to offer her help, a dangerous game in a Mormon household. Outside, a lone wolf prowls the grounds looking for his lost pack, and his nighttime searching will unearth the tensions and secrets of this complicated and conflicted family.

Inspired by the real events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, Alissa York blends fact with fiction in a haunting story of a family separated by secrets and united by faith.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House Canada, c2007.
ISBN: 9780679314738
0679314733
9780679314721
0679314725
Characteristics: 432 p. ;,24 cm.

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s
strat
May 05, 2017

I thought this was weird, wonderful and creative.

a
AndrewTerMarsch
Jun 28, 2012

It takes a strong stomach to read this -it's a bit harsh but a great story. Also beautifully written with very creative descriptions. I marvelled on nearly every page by the author's work choice. All in all, I couldn't put it down, even though I think it has a weak ending...or maybe I should say not so satisfying. Emotionally I wanted someone 'to pay' for their transgressions more than it seemed that they did. My goodness, what that says about me....but it's only fiction, remember! : )

Authors in the House: Join us for coffee as Alissa York shares her writings with us. Sat. May 26, 2012, 3:00-4:00 pm, @ the Strathcona County Library. Giller-nominee Alissa York’s
work is described by critics
as ” frighteningly real,”
“beautiful, unusual and
memorable” and “rich,
strange and deeply
satisfying.

Authors in the House: Join us for coffee as Alissa York shares her writings with us. Sat. May 26, 2012, 3:00-4:00 pm, @ the Strathcona County Library. Giller-nominee Alissa York’s
work is described by critics
as ” frighteningly real,”
“beautiful, unusual and
memorable” and “rich,
strange and deeply
satisfying.

c
Cabby
Feb 08, 2008

Amazon.ca top 25 books of 2007.

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