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The Memento

by Christy Ann Conlin

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ghost, literary
list price: $26.00
category: Fiction
published: 2016
publisher: Doubleday Canada

Haunting gothic elements are exquisitely re-imagined in this strange tale of madness, murder and dark secrets set on the rugged Bay of Fundy coast by the acclaimed author of Heave.
The Memento tells the story of Fancy Mosher as she lives and works in the servants' quarters at Petal's End, a formerly illustrious private land surrounded by dense forest belonging to the famed Parker family. Since the Great War, the estate has been slowly crumbling at the same rate as the family's reputation. Fancy grows up listening to her family's ghost stories and watching the Parkers from a safe distance with her best friend, Art, but the summer she turns twelve she not only learns that her family has been hiding a terrifying truth about who she is and what she is capable of, she also begins to experience firsthand the magnitude of secrets and horrors held within the estate's walls and buried in its lush gardens--secrets and lies that come to haunt Fancy and the large, fabulous cast of Petal's End, all of whom refuse to move on from a dying way of life.
    Christy Ann Conlin gives us a lyrical and chilling meditation on human nature and the manner of recollection in this captivating ghost story where webs of memories haunt and distort reality and ultimately destroy those who weave them.

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Contributor notes

CHRISTY ANN CONLIN's acclaimed and bestselling first novel, Heave (2002), was a Globe and Mail "Top 100" book, a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award. Heave was also longlisted for the 2011 CBC Canada Reads Novels of the Decade. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including Best Canadian Stories. Conlin also hosted the popular 2012 CBC summer radio series Fear Itself. The Memento is her first novel in fourteen years. Conlin teaches at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies online Creative Writing program. She lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

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Editorial Review

"A dizzying feat. . . . A masterful accomplishment from a powerful writer." —Toronto Star
"The Memento is a classic spinetingler. . . . Conlin has an excellent eye for the grotesque and a light comic touch, and her writing often sparkles. . . . She has the courage to show us a real monster. . . . It's refreshing to encounter something as horrifically visceral as the nightmarish creature here. . . . The distinction between madness and malice is increasingly blurred, to powerful effect." —The Globe and Mail

"Lovely and sinister, The Memento is a gorgeous unveiling of the relentless darkness that awaits beneath the pristine, orderly beauties we so painstakingly impose." —Lynn Coady, author of Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning Hellgoing
"Conlin has built a dense, intricate world. . . . Weaving economic, feminist, spiritual and family threads across sharply realized characters, dipping in and out of genre and time in a gripping way that sneaks up on you." —The Coast (Halifax)

"Trust in Christy Ann Conlin. Follow the mythic thread she has expertly woven through this rich labyrinth of a novel and you will be transported. This is the work of a master storyteller operating at the height of her craft." —Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting
"In this exuberant novel, Christy Ann Conlin offers us a grab bag of gothic delights—a creaking groaning mansion, a precocious 12th-born twelve-year-old, tea parties with the dead and an unnerving number of fleeting darting 'somethings' only glimpsed in the corner of your eye.  Wildly imaginative." —Caroline Adderson, author of Ellen in Pieces

"The Memento is as much a lush atmospheric ghost story as it is a meditation on memory and grief. There is a subtle Turn of the Screw sinisterness, an eeriness, that lingers long after you've put the book down." —Michelle Berry, author of Blind Crescent 

"Through the intriguing narrator of The Memento, Conlin performs a kind of literary necromancy, leading the reader through this vivid, compelling, eerie tale—of the power of blood, the pain of reflection, and the ways in which we are all haunted by our pasts—so intimately it is as if she is walking us through the baroque rooms and grounds of tragic, haunted Petal's End." —Jacqueline Baker, author of The Broken Hours

"The Memento is a strange, verdant, alluring and haunted novel of secrets harboured like seeping illnesses, of children and misremembering, of landscape, of richest truths as they dare erupt in creative acts. I read it breakneck, in an altered state, and have placed it on the bookshelf—respectfully so as not to disturb the hobgobblies—between Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping." —Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things

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About the Author

Christy Ann Conlin

CHRISTY ANN CONLIN is the author of two acclaimed novels, Heave and The Memento. She is also the author of the short-fiction collection Watermark, which was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award. Heave was a national bestseller, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals including Best Canadian Stories, Brick, Geist, Room, and Numéro Cinq. Her short fiction has also been longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the American Short Fiction Prize. Her radio broadcast work includes co-creating and hosting CBC Fear Itself, a national summer radio series. Christy Ann studied theatre at the University of Ottawa and screenplay writing at the University of British Columbia. She was born and raised in seaside Nova Scotia, where she still resides.

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