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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
Haunted by his childhood memories, an aging Anglican priest shares magical tales of life in the Canadian wilds.
The woods surrounding the fictional town of Sawgamet in the cold, snowy upper reaches of Canada hold many secrets. It is where shape-shifters, giant golden caribou, singing dogs, and all manner of mythical beings like "adlets," "wehtikos," and "qallupilluits" roam freely in the densely packed forests. To this landscape, Stephen, an Anglican minister, returns with his family during World War II to his childhood birthplace, once a prosperous gold rush and lumber town now fallen on hard times. He arrives to take over the parish and to see his dying mother. As he settles in and keeps vigil by his mother's bedside, he remembers his early years and the stories about his family's history, of his pioneering grandparents, of the bitter winters that try men's souls, and of the love that outlives death. If he wants to pass on the stories to his children, he has to come to terms with a past that is haunted by encounters with ghostly visions of loved ones, terrifying monsters, and ethereal creatures.
Zentner's luminous prose successfully conjures magical realism in the wilderness of northern Canada, at once evoking a harsh and unforgiving environment while spinning a soul-stirring tale about loss, love, and the power of believing in miracles. With its seamless blending of the natural and supernatural that is reminiscent of South American writers Borges and García Márquez, Touch is storytelling at its spellbinding best.