by Sharon Butala
From the author of the Number 1 best-selling The Perfection of the Morning.
Finalist for the W. O. Mitchell Book Prize
"The first night she hardly noticed he was gone, and even though she had expected him back before the moon rose, she slept soundly.” So begins acclaimed novelist and literary nonfiction writer Sharon Butala’s new novel. By the end of the first chapter, Sophie Hippolyte’s husband Pierre will have been gone for three days, and the suspense, as a lone horseman approaches their homesteader cabin in the southwest Saskatchewan of the 1880s, is palpable.
Wild Rose, an epic story of The West, now long gone, charts Sophie’s journey from underloved child in religion-bound rural Quebec, to headstrong young woman to exhausted homesteader to deserted bride and mother to independent businesswoman finding her way in a hostile, if beautiful, landscape. In language that is haunting, elegiac and rich with detail, Butala casts an unblinking eye on a merciless West that has become obscured behind headlines about wheat and oil prices. Sophie’s West – filled with sodbusters and cowboys, fallen women and proper ladies, settlers and Indians – comes vividly alive in the pages of Wild Rose, Butala’s most unforgettable novel.