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Kit's Law

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,670 ratings  ·  92 reviews
In this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields, we find "all the old-fashioned virtues: a vivid sense of place, an intricate and suspenseful plot, and a feisty heroine whom we can't help rooting for on every page" (Margot Livesey). Kit Pitman is fourteen and lives in a ramshackle cottage on the outer banks of ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published May 3rd 2001 by Mariner Books (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carolyn Gerk
I started off enjoying this book a lot. It was a breeze to get through, though I felt like 1950's Newfoundland sounded a little bit like Little House on the Prairie, so maybe the newfies are a bit behind on the times. I would like to have heard more about Josie's story, as it was her struggle that interested me more than Kit's did.
The characters are simple and a little bit cliche, but it felt like a getaway story depsite the bleak outcomes of mcuh of it.
This was the first two thirds of the boo
Not surprising that Morrissey won the award for best first novel. Although somewhat slow opening, about a quarter of the way in, it picks up, as Morrissey introduces the characters, their flaws and strengths, and the crux of the book, Kit's relationships with Sid and her mother. Especially beautiful are the scenes evoked against the unique, isolated, rugged, always beautiful, sometimes terrifying Newfoundland outpost where Kit resides. The story and Kit will remain with you long after you close ...more
I so enjoyed the book that I was rather sad when it ended. I love stories that take me to another time and place where I get a glimpse of lives so different from my own. That being said, I had pretty well figured out the plot early so the big reveal was no surprise. What I did like was how the situation was eventually resolved. I loved the lyrical language and the descriptions of Newfoundland.
I agree with Kim:

"From the beginning to the end, I really enjoyed this book, although it is filled with heartbreaking and tragic events that hurt the heart.

This story takes you on an emotional roller coaster and constantly leaves the reader with hope that things will get better, and then crushes the dream over and over again. I had to keep reading, with hopes that something good would finally happen but there are so many twists and turns, you never know what's going to happen next. I would stron
While it's been some time since I read this book and I have forgotten many plot details, the novel has stayed with me. The characters were very strong, the story inexorably draws toward a kind of doom and the overall tragedy of the story haunts me still.

If you expect lightness and joy, this isn't for you but if you can get dirty with some raw emotions, then perhaps you'll enjoy it too. I certainly did.
I really love the way that Donna writes just like the characters speak. You can hear the Maritime accents as you read the rich, expressive dialogue. This is definately a Canadian Classic, and I could see High School English classes studying it. It would be one of those books you are forced to read, but fall in love with. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.
Kit's Law is a story of growing up poor and stigmatized in a 1950s outport in Newfoundland. When we first meet young teen-aged Kit she is living in dignified poverty with her grandmother who is raising her and her mentally handicapped single mother who lives the life of a barely manageable child. Her grandmother dies early in the story leaving Kit to fight for her right to live independently and protect her mother. The townspeople are rather stereotypically drawn - the sympathetic doctor, the ev ...more
Bit of a slow start, not sure if me or the book. Great character development. As an ex-Maritimer, had always enjoyed "Newfie" wit and personality. This took me back in time. Addressed many of the social issues associated w/early Newfoundland, as well as developing a great plot. Human spirit can triumph. Enjoyed thoroughly. A memorable book for me.
The words poetic justice would describe this twists and turns in this book rather well. I won't give away the plot, but suffice it to say, those who point the finger often find three fingers back at them. I only wish real life would turn out this way more often.
The Baking Bookworm
My Review: The fact that this book is set in a remote Newfoundland village in the 1950's caught my attention since I'm always on the lookout for new (or at least 'new to me') Canadian authors. I found Morrissey's writing to be very engaging and lyrical as she vividly describes Newfoundland and its culture, unique dialect and small coastal town feel.

But it was an interesting premise regarding Kit's living situation and that kept me reading. Kit, Josie and Grandma Lizzie's characters were well tho
Disturbing. Interesting look at a claustrophobic community, with well thought-out characters. Her imagery is spectacular, but if you don't like realistic descriptions of vomit (who doesn't, really) you should skip the flu scenes...
excellent, humorous and touching book. absorbing story, left me thinking about the curves life throws. like a boomerang--do they come back to haunt you, or can you move beyond?
hated it! Threw it across the room when I finished it!
Cheryl Andrews
This was Donna Morrissey's debut novel. Morrissey is one of my favourite Canadian authors so I persevered through the first dozen pages of dialogue weighed down - too much, too soon - by a heavy outport Newfoundland dialect. I would have preferred being eased into the unfamiliar language and in particular the visual references that got lost in the complex dialogue. It was distracting, and I struggled to wade through this sudden and deep immersion from the first line, first page onward ... I want ...more
This book wasn't quite as good as I was hoping. It's set in the fifties in a Newfoundland outport and tells the first person story of Kit.

Kit lives with her Nan, Lizzy and her mentally challenged mother, Josie. There's the supportive town doctor who regularly squares off against the hell-fire and brimstone preacher who wants Josie and Kit sent away from the town, to be raised by nuns, or some such. There's the preacher's son, Sid, who in defiance of his parents, befriends Kit and Josie. There's
Kit is a young girl who lives in poverty in a small town in Newfoundland. She is being raised by her grandmother, Nan, while her special needs mother, Josie, flits in and out of their lives. There are many characters in the town, both good and bad people. Most of the town and the students treat Kit as someone to be shunned and shamed so she becomes a loner. She and Sid become friends and spend time together. However, all is not as it appears and a deep dark secret deeply affects their lives.
Jennifer Hatt
"I didn't do it because it was smart. I did it because it made things look pretty."

To the residents of Haire's Hollow, 12-year-old Kit is poor, sad, strange, and in need of salvation. But in Kit's mind and heart, she is exactly where she belongs: living in the gully with her Nan, warmed by the wood stove, overlooking the constant restless shifting of the sea.

This first novel by Donna Morrissey is an engaging immersion in outport Newfoundland, where amid the tough work and harsh climate one's g
Mallee Stanley
A great Newfoundland fishing village saga about a daughter left with the responsibility of looking after her mother after her grandmother dies and the twists and turns of relationships. I was intrigued by this story until about the last five chapters. Think the story should have ended after Sid and Kit's great discovery.
Inken Purvis
Despite the raw honesty and emotion of this novel, with its vulnerable and gutsy heroine Kit Pitman, I just couldn't connect with this story. Kit lives in poverty in an isolated community where everyone knows each other's business and she is a sympathetic character, but really it feels as though author Morrissey just kept on trying to find the worst possible things that could happen to her: She's born illegitimate in the 1950s, her mother is mentally disabled, they're poor, her loving grandmothe ...more
Barb Newman
This book really takes you into how life might be in a small Newfoundland village where everyone knows you and knows each others secrets. Kindness and cruelty live side by side. Guess which wins?
Donna Morrissey is just a damned good writer. Her knowledge of Newfoundland and her insite into the human spirit are second only to her ability to tell a ripping good yarn.
Liked the vernacular used, liked the idea and the truth of outport life in Newfoundland. The story was slow to start but was a real page turner as it got moving.
Marcia Wood
Off to a slow start but gained momentum until the very end. Excellent characters, surprising story lines, the kind of book that's hard to put down, and you hate to see end.
From the beginning to the end, I really enjoyed this book, although it is filled with heartbreaking and tragic events that hurt the heart.

This story takes you on an emotional roller coaster and constantly leaves the reader with hope that things will get better, and them crushes the dream over and over again. I had to keep reading, with hopes that something good would finally happen but there are so many twists and turns, you never know what's going to happen next. I would strongly recommend this
Read it while travelling and really got hooked on the characters and of course the place. Not too many books set in Newfoundland.
Wonderful book. Well written, excellent characters. Reading my way through CBC's '100 books that make you proud to be Canadian' and this does the trick. Well done.
Deborah Watring-Ellis
A book club selection, and I'm sure happy of it. It took me a few chapters to get the hang of the Newfoundland dialect, but once I did I loved everything about this book. I loved Kit and Josie and Sid and I loved how Morrissey draws such memorable characters. And I loved "feeling" Newfoundland. It is so unique, yet all of us from other small communities related so well.
Apr 09, 2015 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathy by: Reading group choice (Karen S.)
What amazed me about Kit's Law was how fully Donna Morrissey's characters came to life in my mind and how her depictions of the natural and man-made landscapes just lit up my imagination. The plot was unprecedented in my reading experience (too many tears from the womenfolk in the closing chapters, however). I loved how the narrator spoke naturally to her reader, using words, exclamations, and grammar native to the non-indigenous people living in the fishing villages on the outer banks of Newfou ...more
Nathan Burgoine
One of the best books I've read by a contemporary Canadian Author, I put up a review of this book on, and got an e-mail from her!

When she visited Ottawa to do a book reading, she stopped by the store I worked for at the time and signed my copy and personalized it, so this one is only available for loaning to locals who will send it back thereafter.

This is a great story set in East-Coast Canada, and has one young girl struggling to survive against some nasty family secrets, taking care
Great read! I don't know why I didn't read this before now.
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Donna Morrissey is the award-winning author of Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance, What They Wanted, and Sylvanus Now, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. She recently wrote a children’s book, Cross Katie Kross, illustrated by her daughter, Bridget. Morrissey grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland & Labrador and now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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