Coteau Books, 2016
July, 1924. The best-selling American author, Sinclair Lewis, has weaseled his way onto the Canadian government’s annual treaty tour of northern Saskatchewan. In the remote village of Pelican Narrows inhabited by fur traders, clergymen and Cree trappers, the writer inadvertently becomes a major player in a scheme to rob the natives of their heritage.
Based on historical events, Maggie Siggins creates a fictional version of the real-life Pelican Narrows, weaving a colorful tale resplendent with its own cavalcade of dynamic, often humorous characters who live there. The conflicts between Aboriginals and white people, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, traditional and progressive, material and spiritual, all shape life in the little Northern community.
Ever eloquent, Maggie proves herself more than capable of creating compelling, thought-provoking fiction with Scattered Bones.
“Disturbing without being upsetting, this novel will delight readers seeking diversion but doesn’t whitewash the iniquities of Canada’s past” — Publishers Weekly
“I finished Scattered Bones and I have to say it was one of the best books I’ve ever read. I just couldn’t stop reading! What an imagination Maggie has and at the same time, she was able to present a life situation for each of the characters that was fascinating. I loved the ending! Write another!!!!” — Elizabeth Raum, Composer
“I finished Scattered Bones yesterday and am, as a result, pretty homesick for Pelican Narrows. What a wonderful read! Loved the characters, but even more, I loved the aching sense of Paradise-about-to-be -lost that hangs over so much of it. It is a novel for the ages but also very much a novel for today. — John Coulbourn, Drama Critic
”I’ve just finished reading Scattered Bones, and think it is wonderful, full of life and courage and humour, despite the sadness of the backdrop. Congratulations are definitely in order!” — Mary Thompson, Math Professor (Retired)
“I finished the book today, and it was a wonderful read! Some very interesting characters (Florence, Izzy, and Etienne were my favourites), whose future stories in my opinion, would make for an excellent sequel (I can envision a title like “Shifting Beach” about the changes that come to Pelican Narrows throughout the 20th Century).” — Wayne Zhu, Doctoral Student
“I just finished your book and I totally loved it. I didn’t want it to end. You have told their story with such passion and love; it was just a pleasure to read – the humour and the tension so beautifully intertwined.” — Linda Mahaney, Policy Zonk (Retired)