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4.57  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Paperback, 266 pages
Published 2017 by Two Wolves Press
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Average rating 4.57  · 
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 ·  46 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Khashayar Mohammadi
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
A poignant story, yet endearing and lyrical. A smooth, bittersweet page turner that leads us our deepest fears; and facing the impending shadow of "Death", provides comfort in its elegance. Undoubtedly one of this year's best Canadian novels; one that clearly shows Catherine Graham is as capable of producing great fiction as she is capable of producing great poetry. ...more
Steven Buechler
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Graham has lyrically told the story of Caitlin Maharg here. Living beside a quarry presents an idyllic childhood of exploration and excitement for the young girl, but all that is shattered when her mother becomes terminally ill. Through the course of the illness – and the growth of Caitlin – a series of embarrassing family secrets emerge that require the young girl to attempt to; understand, deal with, and heal. And the journey requires the young girl to mature a bit too fast at times. ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous new novel from a gorgeous new press (Two Wolves Press), Catherine Graham’s debut novel blazes from start to finish. Like the limestone quarry that figures so prominently, blown apart by dynamite, the young protagonist Caitlin Maharg is gutted by grief and mourning, but as much as absence haunts her, this is not a novel about loss. Rather, so much love, resilience, fortitude and empathy is found in these pages, rises to the surface, accompanies the reader. There are crystals in the qua ...more
Michael Bryson
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
A strong debut novel that quietly unfolds, drawing readers ever deeper into the coming-of-age narrative of one Caitlin Maharg, an Ontario-born heroine painted with the literary chops to recall her sisters in prose supplied by our Nobel laureate, Alice Munro.

In the lives of girls and women presented here, Caitlin's mother is dying of cancer, and her grandmother has moved in to be caring (i.e., disruptive) influence. Caitlin's father is a strong presence, and his drama dominates the second half of
James Fisher
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A wonderfully haunting, searching story of a young girl coming of age while grappling with a very sick mother, cancer, love, and other life issues. At the centre of it all, like a sentinel is the quarry, a symbol of life, and renewal. "Dive in. Turn to water before it freezes."
Recommended for mature young readers and up.
Adrian Hoad-Reddick
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This quiet and deep novel brought explosions of
recognition, sparks of memories rooted in familiar settings and objects released from memory. It was a deep dive in a bracing quarry. I opened my eyes underwater and was surrounded by illuminated life floating against the sunlit surface.
Gwendolyn Broadmore
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quarry paints an intimate portrait of a loving, yet, complicated family. It includes the dark secrets we hide from ourselves and each other. Would you run hard and fast when grief strikes? The heroine, Caitlin, wants to flee, but eventually she finds that this does not ease her anguish. She painfully learns to become one with her deep loss, and to trust the compassion and understanding of those who love her. Quarry is a beautifully crafted novel, ultimately celebrating the survival of the human ...more
Jill Reitman
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I finished reading Quarry, the stories, the twists, the characters, the vivid images, the lyrical language, and the deep darkness followed me like my shadow, persistent and provoking thought.

I couldn't know what parts of the book were autobiographical and what portions fictitious, but regardless, this work was a very brave effort. I commend Catherine Graham, accomplished Canadian poet, for her strength and courage in this, her first novel.
Bruce Hunter
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Quarry, Catherine Graham deftly plumbs the depths of longing, love and grief through the eyes of young Caitlin Maharg and her parents. The locus of this compelling debut novel is the family's home at an abandoned limestone quarry set on the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario but the universalities and quirks of the human psyche and its quarry are vividly sketched and textured here - as you would expect by an accomplished poet in deep imagery and language that is both muscular and musical. ...more
Enid Wray
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Full of gorgeous imagery - painting the scenes in my mind’s eye. Haunting and lyrical, with shades of the fairy tale (evil grandmother). And the quarry, the central element, both literally and metaphorically… the pit, the prey, the search, the window.

A tale of grief, it starts off as a seemingly happy family story - happy summer days lazing about - but right off the bat there is an underlying hint of malevolence, of something not quite right… something brooding… Mom and her
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Graham is an accomplished poet who earns serious cred as a novelist with this debut, Quarry. It’s a beautifully told story about how all of life changes, like the seasons—humans too. No one is immune. The central setting of the novel is protagonist Caitlin’s family home, built at the edge of a water-filled limestone quarry: layers constantly shifting, uncovering the unexpected, but always renewing. A metaphor for Caitlin, and all of us, navigating life’s unpredictable waters.

Graham tur
Sylvia Zubke
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, and have thought about it often since finishing. The writing is beautiful - waves are ”wind tents of blue moving in the jewelled sunlight” - and the author vividly captures what it feels like to be a child. It is through Caitlin’s eyes we see her parents, cousin and extended family, and as she grows into her teen years and young adulthood, and we feel the confusion, pain and desires of a child whose mother is dying from cancer, and who cannot fully understand the stro ...more
Tehmina Khan
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Long white bread and shepherd's staff. That wasn't the picture of God my mind conjured up. It held a medley of images: sunlight crackling over the quarry water, the wing flap of the great blue heron, a face-to-face encounter with the white -tailed deer. These were the moments that took me out of my fears and concerns, my worries and downfalls, to the stillness that knew no bounds, unearthly moments I felt most human."

I suspected that I would like Quarry before picking it up, but I was not prep
C. Black
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Graham’s poetry writing is evident in her spare prose. Lots of space for the reader to use their imagination to flesh out a scene, feel an emotion. Graham doesn’t spoon feed the reader, so unlike some novels where your mind can wander and still keep up with the details, you have to give your full attention to this book. Blink and you will miss something important that you didn’t see coming.
The plot is most definitely not typical but the way it unfolds and all the characters in it feel very authe
Susie D
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clear-eyed, heart-wrenching look at the many ways in which we grow up. Told from the perspective of a girl from the ages of 11 to about 23, and I suspect highly autobiographical, the author (who is also a poet of some renown) captures the confusion and innocence of those years as well as the hard truths about adults. An excellent work which would appeal to those who enjoy literary fiction (or who grew up in Niagara or who went to McMaster University or who are only children or who are human!).
Thom Resney
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "Quarry" yesterday. I can't say enough about this work. The prose is incredibly rich and luscious - as if a poet had taken the time to craft a novel. :-)

The characters are so very real it's as if you're in the story with them and could stop and say hello, and they'd look up and smile a hello back and then carry on with their important business of being characters in a novel.

I loved the engaging plot twists. I loved the story. I hope to see more novels from Catherine Graha
Valerie Charnish
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great novel! I couldn't put it down. I was so interested in the story of the main character - I read it over two days! It is a powerful book with beautiful nature imagery throughout. The characters are richly portrayed, especially the main character. She is a fully fleshed: wise and insightful but also naive at times. There are many touching moments, as well as, laugh out loud humour. I highly recommend this book. It would make a great TV/netflix series! ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully told and heart wrenching. Catherine’s poetic sensibilities weave into a story of profound grief while coming of age. Elegantly developed characters so dimensional they felt familiar. I wanted to read it slowly but I just couldn’t. So I’ll have to read it again just to enjoy the language. Very highly recommended.
Christine Thomson-hunter
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s no surprise that Catherine Graham is receiving accolades and awards for this book. Deception, loss , discovery and courage - at times heartbreaking, at times heartwarming, so much more than a coming of age tale. Graham writes of life challenges with images as sharp as the stone walls of the quarry for which her novel Is named. Read this book!
Mary Kay
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed it. The story held my attention from start to finish. Catherine's lyrical writing style makes for a very pleasant read. She paints an intense picture so I could see and feel the scenes unfolding. Some aspects of the story are autobiographical. This is a courageous first novel. I hope we see more from Catherine Graham. ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Graham uses her sophisticated poetic eye and ear to bring alive this gripping story of young Caitlin Maharg, as she and her family love their way through devastating loss and family intrigue. The setting is a character in its own right, remote, haunting, and beautiful. You won't want to put this novel down, even after you've finished reading. Graham's writing is magic! ...more
Meg Tobin
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I appreciated the place based nature of the story, featuring my own local towns and countrysides. A beautiful and heart breaking story of the inner life of a young woman.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed reading Catherine Graham's Quarry - very insightful story about the nature of being a teenager and also about the very nature of grief and some of its unexpected manifestations. The 'quarry' of the title comes to mean so many different things, and we feel we have entered it in fundamental ways. Highly recommended, get yourself a copy now and walk right in that complex world. ...more
Dana Krook
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Dec 26, 2018
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Catherine Graham, writer, educator and creativity consultant, was born in Hamilton, Ontario. She holds a Masters' degree in creative writing from Lancaster University in England. Her poems have been anthologized internationally, published on CBC's Sounds Like Canada website, broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and she is included in The White Page / An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets. ...more

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