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A Splinter in the Heart

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Al Purdy’s only novel, A Splinter in the Heart, is an unforgettable coming-of-age story that unfolds against the real-life tragedy of what came to be known as the Trenton Disaster. Set in 1918, it tells the story of sixteen-year-old Patrick Cameron and the events that will change him – and the Ontario town in which he lives – forever. Over the course of one summer and fall ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 16th 2000 by Emblem Editions (first published September 1st 1990)
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Feb 18, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I met Al Purdy when I was in my last year of high school, not long before he died. Hearing him read some of his poetry, and speak about the craft of writing had a tremendous influence on me. A Splinter in the Heart, his only novel, draws from many of the same themes and images common to his poetry, but in a different form. I wish he had written more novels!
May 04, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first learned of this novel by way of a stage play adaptation that will premiere this summer at a theatre not far from the story's geographical setting. I was completely ignorant of the British Chemical explosion of 1918 in Trenton, Ontario, and the book cleverly weaves bits and pieces of first-hand accounts of the incident into this fictionalized re-telling.

It's a somewhat similar coming-of-age tale to Dennis T. Patrick Sears's The Lark in the Clear Air only Al Purdy avoids somewhat less than
Jun 23, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, fiction
The novel has a very slow lead up to its explosive climax, but the height of the action is intimately connected with the rest.
Patrick Cameron is a lovely protagonist: intensely thoughtful, yet inarticulate in important ways, good but always scrutinizing himself. It was always a little jarring when the narrative perspective shifted away from him. He reminded me of a friend from high school, and I can picture the kind of student I will recommend this book to.
The Trenton Disaster, which I had nev
Aug 01, 2016 Magdelanye rated it really liked it
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Alfred Wellington Purdy was one of the most popular and important Canadian poets of the 20th century. Purdy's writing career spanned more than fifty years. His works include over thirty books of poetry; a novel; two volumes of memoirs and four books of correspondence. He has been called the nation's "unofficial poet laureate".

Born in Wooler, Ontario Purdy went to Albert College in Belleville, Onta
More about Al Purdy...

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