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Donna Morrissey

Autor(a) de Kit's Law

10 Works 1,016 Membros 34 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Donna Morrissey was born in The Beaches, a small village on the northwest coast of Newfoundland that had neither roads nor electricity until the 1960s - a place not unlike Haire's Hollow, which she depicts in "Kit's Law". When she was sixteen, Morrissey left The Beaches & struck out across Canada, mostrar mais working odd jobs from bartending to cooking in oil rig camps to processing fish in fish plants. She went on to earn a degree in social work at Memorial University in St. Johns. It was not until she was in her late thirties that Morrissey began writing short stories, at the urging of a friend, a Jungian analyst, who insisted she was a writer. Eventually she adapted her first two stories into screenplays, which both went on to win the Atlantic Film Festival Award; one aired recently on CBC. "Kit's Law" is Morrissey's first novel, the winner of the Canadian Booksellers Association First-Time Author of the Year Award & shortlisted for many prizes, including the Atlantic Fiction Award & the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Morrissey lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: cabottrailwritersfestival.com


Obras por Donna Morrissey

Kit's Law (1999) 391 exemplares
Sylvanus Now (2005) 182 exemplares
Downhill Chance (2002) 168 exemplares
What They Wanted (2008) 100 exemplares
The Fortunate Brother (2016) 69 exemplares
The Deception of Livvy Higgs (2012) 61 exemplares
Rage the Night (2023) 22 exemplares
Cross Katie Kross (2012) 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Morrissey, Donna
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
The Beaches, Newfoundland, Canada
Locais de residência
The Beaches, Newfoundland, Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Memorial University, Newfoundland

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Donna Morrissey (born in 1956 at The Beaches, Newfoundland) is a Canadian author.

At age 16 Morrissey left her birthplace, The Beaches, a small outport on the west coast of Newfoundland. She lived in various places of Canada before returning to St. John's where she studied at Memorial University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Work, and a diploma in adult education. Morrissey now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Morrissey has written three prize-winning novels — Kit's Law, the national best seller Downhill Chance, and Sylvanus Now — as well as one prize-winning screenplay.

Morrissey defended Frank Parker Day's novel Rockbound in Canada Reads 2005. Rockbound eventually won the competition. In the 2007 edition of Canada Reads, an "all-star" competition pitting the five winning advocates from previous years against each other, Morrissey returned to champion Anosh Irani's novel The Song of Kahunsha.

As most young people do, Morrissey left The Beaches. At sixteen, having flunked out of high school, she set off travelling that vast expanse of country to the west. “I was like, ‘Jesus, I want to see a hippie! And I want to smoke pot, and I want to do all of that stuff and travel the world.’ I didn’t do the world so much, but I certainly traipsed through this country a few times.”

For ten years, Morrissey moved from province to province, working as a waitress, a bartender, a cook on an oilrig. She got married and had two children (a son, now twenty-six, and a daughter, now nineteen). And when she tired of life “abroad,” she brought her family back to Newfoundland and worked splitting cod at a fish processing plant.



BooksInMirror | 1 outra crítica | Feb 19, 2024 |
There are two aspects of this book. The first is the story of Roan, who at age 20 discovers who his mother was. He was taken from her when he was born and given to another woman. At four years of age, he was taken to an orphanage and raised by a missionary doctor. Roan sets out to find out more about what happened during his early years -- and why.

Following the man he believes to be his father, Roan goes on a seal hunt that turns into a disaster. This is the second aspect of the book: the fictionalized account of the true, 1914, disaster of The Newfoundland ship where many men died on the ice.

The story of the seal hunt was fascinating and very well written. I could feel the cold as the men were stranded on the ice far from their ship. I could also feel the warmth that the men's compassion for each other brought. The characters were amazingly well drawn and complex. I'd give this part of the book 5 stars.

However, the story of Roan's search for his past was a let down. Too many moments where someone almost reveals something but stops short. Too much obvious misunderstanding where someone could easily have corrected things. Too much melodrama. A big issue left totally unaddressed (i.e., why Road was moved at four years of age). The reunion about to take place at the end....really? This part just didn't work for me.
… (mais)
LynnB | 1 outra crítica | Dec 21, 2023 |
Donna's writing about her family in Newfoundland continues to refresh like a splash of salt sea air. She is so good at transporting the reader to the scene, bringing her characters to life, laying out the story.
That said, this book won lots of awards for mystery writing, and that puzzles me. We have many many wonderful mystery writers in Canada and as a mystery, Donna's book doesn't really fit.
I enjoyed the book very much, but not a mystery...
Dabble58 | 3 outras críticas | Nov 11, 2023 |
I’ve read and loved all of Donna Morrissey’s novels. She is one of my favourite Canadian authors, and this, her latest book, only adds to my regard for her writing.

It is 1914 in Newfoundland. Twenty-year-old Roan is an orphan who has been raised and educated by Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, the renowned Newfoundland medical missionary. A nurse’s deathbed confession has Roan discovering that his father may still be alive, so he sets out to discover the identity of that father and the truth behind his mother’s death. He travels by dog sled from St. Anthony to Deer Lake and then takes a train to St. John’s. Believing he has found his father, he follows him onto the SS Newfoundland, a ship heading to the sealing grounds for the spring hunt.

I didn’t know about the history of the Newfoundland, one of the worse marine disasters in Newfoundland history, but as soon as Roan joins the sealers on the ship, I suspected there would be a tragedy. I’ve read enough about the seal hunt to know of its dangers. The conditions are not favourable as the Newfoundland keeps getting trapped in ice so the captain and the sealers are more and more desperate to find seals; the decision to have the men walk for hours to reach a herd just ramps up the suspense.

The seal hunt is controversial, but it has been part of Newfoundland’s culture for generations. Regardless of one’s position on the hunt, a reader will feel empathy for the sealers. For them, the hunt means making some money to feed themselves and their families. The living conditions on the ship are miserable; food is very basic and there’s not much of it. Once the hunt begins, the dangers increase. The men need to earn money and it is desperation that drives the men onto shifting ice.

I love novels with a dynamic character and this one has Roan. At the beginning, Roan loves solitude: “Quiet. He loved quiet. Loved how it settled around him without shadow.” He even tells a young woman he encounters that “We are best alone, Ila, we are best alone” and believes that “She will learn, as he has, not to fear aloneness. She will learn that it is in solitude where one finds one’s courage.” As a young boy, Roan was sent to a boarding school in Boston where he was an outcast because he was considered an orphan from the backwoods, but on the ship he is accepted by the men and bonds with them. He learns that “our pathways through life are equally shaped by the others who sail with us” and realizes that he gathers courage “from living these past days among a brotherhood that breeds such courage out of misery that all things seem possible.”

Roan has other lessons to learn as well: patience and humility. The ship’s captain, for instance, is described as proud and one of the sealers says “’Men does strange things when they got that drivin ‘em.’” Roan comes to recognize “his own naked pride” and acknowledges the presence of “his old pal vanity.” Watching the sealers help and support each other, he becomes more compassionate and realizes the truth of Dr. Grenfell’s words that “What we give to others is the rent we pay for our room on this earth.” Roan does uncover the truth of his birth, but it’s the other lessons that more profoundly affect his behaviour.

Characterization in the novel is excellent. Characters are flawed like real human beings: keeping secrets, telling lies to themselves and others, and falling subject to misunderstandings. Though there are few women, they are memorable. Ila, though the same age as Roan, seems so much more mature, probably because of her life experiences. But the most authentic for me are the sealers. They speak in distinctive Newfoundland accents which I love, but it’s their supportive fellowship, resilience, and humour that stand out. Even when miserable, they break out into song to bolster morale. They watch out for and help each other. They share equally what little they have, unlike captains who keep the best food for himself and unlike Roan who in the past succumbed to the “greed of hunger.”

There is so much to recommend this novel: a suspenseful plot, authentic characters, lots of local colour, lyrical descriptions, and thematic depth – all things I’ve found in all of Donna Morrissey’s novels.

Note: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).
… (mais)
1 vote
Schatje | 1 outra crítica | Sep 4, 2023 |



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