Lee Gowan’s new novel is an audacious sequel to Sinclair Ross’ prairie classic, As for Me and My House. The Beautiful Place is about a man who is in trouble in love and work—a darkly funny cautionary tale for our times.
The man we know only as Bentley is floundering on every front, and like anyone who feels that he’s on the brink of annihilation, Bentley thinks back to his misspent youth, which was also the year he met his famous grandfather, the painter Philip Bentley, for the first time. He has inherited his grandfather’s tendency to self-doubt, as well as that cranky artist’s old service pistol.
How did Bentley end up as a cryonics salesman—a huckster for a dubious afterlife—when he wanted to be a writer? And who is the mysterious Mary Abraham, and why is she the thread unravelling his unhappy present? What will be left when all the strands come undone?
“Where is home? Where is here? In The Beautiful Place we discover that the true geography of art begins in the heart. Profound, witty, and charming: read this novel!”
Kim Echlin, author of Speak, Silence
“Gowan shows, with ingenuity, tenderness, and despair, that it’s in middle age, when we finally surrender the illusion of control, that we have our most intimate tussles with death.”
Linda Rui Feng, author of Swimming Back to Trout River
“. . . a preposterous, pan-Canadian tale, straight-faced, that evolves into a quest for a dead man’s frozen head. Subtly hilarious, beautifully crafted and with lots of moving parts, this novel is fresh, original, and compelling.”
Ken McGoogan, award-winning author
“ Written with assurance and quiet elegance, this is the novel lovers of Gowan’s work have been waiting for.”
Sharon Butala, author of Season of Fury and Wonder and Where I Live Now