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The Innocents

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  667 ratings  ·  134 reviews
From bestselling, award-winning author Michael Crummey comes a sweeping, heart-wrenching, deeply immersive novel about a brother and sister alone in a small world.

A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scar
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Doubleday Books (first published August 27th 2019)
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  • The Innocents by Michael Crummey
    The Innocents
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    Release date: Nov 12, 2019
    *Finalist for the 2019 Giller Prize, 2019 Governor General's Literary Awards, & 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize*

    "Gripping."--
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    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 10 copies available, 3120 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 01 - Nov 30, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.07  · 
    Rating details
     ·  667 ratings  ·  134 reviews


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    Diane S ☔
    Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ava was ten, her brother twelve, when her less than a year old baby sister died. Their mother and father took sick and soon followed. The family has lived an isolated life in a secluded New Toy Diane cove, their access to people restricted to the elderly woman who came to help her mother during the birthing. Now they were truly alone. Alone but not helpless having helped their parents in their daily lives. Fishing for for, trading with a ship that came once a year, the bartered for the supplies ...more
    Carolyn
    Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    The Innocents: Shortlisted for the 3 major literary awards of 2019: The Giller Prize, The Governor General’s Awards, and the. Rogers Writers Trust Prize.

    There is much to admire in Michael Crummey’s writing. He masterfully evokes a time and place which is set in the harsh, isolated world of northern Newfoundland, probably in the early 1800s. It is an inhospitable environment. The desolate area overlooks an often dangerous, raging sea where months-long ice fields trap boats, and winte
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    Krista
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    They were left together in the cove then with its dirt-floored stud tilt, with its garden of root vegetables and its scatter of outbuildings, with its looming circle of hills and rattling brook and its view of the ocean's grey expanse beyond the harbour skerries. The cove was the heart and sum of all creation in their eyes and they were alone there with the little knowledge of the world passed on haphazard and gleaned by chance.

    I love when an ARC opens with a note from the book's editor, giving some
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    Doug
    Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    3.5, rounded up.

    Sweetland was my favorite book of 2015, so I was so delighted that the long four year wait was finally over with Mr. Crummey's new novel. Unsurprisingly, it is both set in Newfoundland, and has a mixture of the harsh realities of that landscape, along with the gorgeous, precise prose for which Crummey is suitably lauded. There are also hints of the supernatural, as in his prev
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    Canadian
    I regret to say that at about the 2/3 mark I bailed on this book. Yes, it’s atmospheric and well written, but I came to find the story of two orphaned siblings in remote, late 18th-century Newfoundland increasingly tedious. I grew weary of reading (view spoiler).

    The author makes abundant skillful use of the Dictionary of N
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    Carol
    THE INNOCENTS is an atmospheric story of survival set in 18th century Newfoundland. It begins with death leaving a young brother and sister ages 12 and 10 orphaned. Alone and isolated, Evered and Ada begin and end each day struggling to feed themselves, stay warm during the severe winters, procure enough food throughout the short spring and summer to trade for supplies, and learn the ways of their growing bodies and the world....together.

    Didn't much care for this one or some of the places it took the reader. A tedious reworld....together.

    ...more
    Alex
    Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

    LONGLISTED FOR 2019 GILLER PRIZE

    Crummey follows up Galore and Sweetland with another captivating and intimate story rooted in Newfoundland history. Ava and Everett are siblings dealing with the sudden death of there parents and baby sister. Alone in a cove were their parents had run a fishing operation, the brother and sister decide to continue it on despite being so young and isolated on the cove. Over the next several years, Ava and Everett must overcome the tre
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    Ace
    Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    DNF 33%

    Update 2 Nov.
    So when you're in the middle of the ocean, all the books become more valued and so I picked this back up, curious as to why I was put off and everyone else was fairly impressed by it. While I think that this writing is really great, the topic is a difficult one and I wonder why writers like to explore these weird (to me) storylines. As I suspected, this did get weird. The characters were well drawn, especially the girl, who had periods, pregnancy and a sixth
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    David Yoon
    Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ada and Evered lose their infant sister before the first snowfall. The ground is frozen solid when they lose their mother, their father tipping her out into the black winter ocean. He joins her shortly, passing before the new year. Ada and Evered are 11 and 9 and in the four opening pages find themselves completely alone on a desolate crag off the coast of Newfoundland that would come to be known as Orphan's Bay.

    It's a hell of a start. The brother and sister barely eke out the winter months, aw
    ...more
    Amy
    Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Northern Canada. Short summers, long cold winters. Illness and hardship leave a brother and sister orphaned in this harsh country, with only the limited knowledge passed on to them by their parents of how their lives are meant to work. Young, innocent, and fiercely determined, they rely on each other to carry on as the seasons alternately provide plenty followed by crushing scarcity, raging storms, illness, and the joy of unexpected visitors. As the siblings grow into the arduous work of simply ...more
    Vicki
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I followed Ada and Evered's compelling story with both delight and something akin to horror. The tale of two young orphan siblings struggling to survive in an isolated cove on the remote northern coast of Newfoundland ranges from gut-wrenching to lyrical. Once again, Michael Crummey has crafted an unmissable read.
    Jennifer
    for the love of sweet baby jesus on the cross do i love michael crummey's writing. like... SERIOUSLY! he is such a unique and inimitable talent. his skill with language continually impresses me, and his ability to truly present the settings of his stories as vivid characters leaves me in awe. that's a lot of praise, isn't it? for what it's worth, i did go into the read fairly neutral. of course i was excited for a NEW michael crummey novel, but i did manage to keep my expectations in check. so even th ...more
    Dan
    Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Michael Crummey’s a great story-teller and a fine novelist. The Innocents immersed me in an all but forgotten Newfoundland cove — too small and too remote to even call an outport — of two hundred or so years ago, just as Sweetland and River Thieves did. The tiny cove becomes a world unto itself for the two preteen and then teen orphans fending for themselves, and the annual and random visiting boats could be spaceships bringing visitors from remote and previously unknown planets.

    My substantial pleasure in reading The Innocents
    ...more
    Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    Between a 3.5-star and a 4-star read. There is a quietness to this story, but there is also a sense of urgency too. Always nice to have a new Crummey to read! I actually have a few older ones by Crummey on my shelf to read and I look forward to reading them soon! I consider him to write "classically Canadian" novels which is due to his certain style of writing - they are generally a slower paced and quieter kind of novel.
    Marjorie
    Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    A young brother and sister, Evered and Ada Best, are only 11 and 12 years old when they are left as orphans when a devastating illness takes their parents and baby sister. Their dilemma is made worse by the fact that they live in an isolated cove in Newfoundland. Their contact with and knowledge of the outside world has been minimal. Their parents were taken ill so quickly that they were unable to prepare their children to survive in this desolate place. They know that a ship named “The Hope” co ...more
    Karen Rush
    A slow-paced story of survival, growth and loyalty.

    Crummy is a distinctive writer and in The Innocents, he meticulously portrays the desperate conditions of an unforgiving place and in building the psyche and struggles of quirky orphaned siblings Evered and Ada. Thanks to Doubleday for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
    ❀ Susan G
    i honestly don't know how to rate this book. it was well-written, hard to put down but so raw (and shocking) that it will stick in my mind.
    Paul Thiessen
    Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is an outstanding work of fiction, set in Newfoundland in the 18th century and redolent with authentic language and historical detail. It has the saddest opening chapter of any book I have read in recent memory, but as the story unfolds you are awestruck by the strength of spirit of the sibling protagonists and completely drawn into their constricted and lonely world. This is a truly superb novel, which is worthy to have accolades and awards heaped on in generous measure
    Louise
    I never wanted this book to end and I feel at a loss now that I am finished. I hope Crummey will continue this story. If ever a sequel was needed, this is it.
    Hannah
    Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Some of the best writing I’ve read this year! The mood is set expertly with verbiage and lingo appropriate to the lives of these two young children.
    Ian Canon
    Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I have absolutely no idea how I came across Michael Crummey’s “The Innocents,” but I am glad it appeared to me through the void, on my kindle, ready to read.

    What I do know is that it has been shortlisted for Canada’s prestigious 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize—an award that comes with a small monetary gift of $100,000.

    It’s possible that this is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon happening in real time, in that I have been thinking about characterization for the last month, but this is a novel built en
    ...more
    Glynis James
    Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Truly beautiful book. I hope it wins all the prizes it’s been nominated for!
    Kaitlyn Vaden
    It was just not for me. While the characters and land descriptions were pretty good, the story was slow-moving, and just not my cup of tea.
    Debbie Symonds
    Aug 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Perhaps I read this story too soon after reading "Where the Crawdads Sing". I didn't like it. There were a few similarities with the theme of orphans and living alone and lonely. The story focused too much on sex, sexual urges, the sex act, dreaming of sex, thinking of sex, analyzing sex. Not that I'm anti-sex but this was a bit much. If I want to read about isolated outposts in Newfoundland, I'd much rather read Donna Morrissey's novels. Her characters are memorable, engaging and certainly don' ...more
    Natasha Penney
    Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Review to follow when Internet connectivity is restored.
    Shelley Gibbs
    Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Crummey is a master at describing inhospitable environments in such a beautiful & lyrical way. This has a languid pace, but is filled with a sense of foreboding at every turn.
    Lauren
    Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Y'all, my Bookpage review hasn't been published yet but just between you and me, you gotta read this.
    Billyf27
    Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Michael Crummy is one of my favorite authors. His story of two young siblings on a northern Canadian island is heartbreaking and beautiful. I can't wait until his next book. They are always emotional and fill with sadness when I turn the last page.
    Laurie Burns
    Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: canadian
    Well, this is a dark one.
    I didn't find it an easy read, especially the hunting parts and it was deeply chilling; but this doesn't mean I didn't like it.
    I liked it.
    But it's tough and disturbing.
    Crummy is an excellent writer however.
    Gail Amendt
    Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What a hauntingly beautiful and sad story. Evered and Ada are orphaned in an isolated cove in Newfoundland at the ages of about 11 and 9, sometime in the 1800's. Their parents taught them the things they needed to survive...a strong work ethic and the skills to eke out a living as cod fishermen, but little else. They have no education, and no contact with the outside world other than the twice yearly visit of the ship that exchanges their cod for a meager supply of necessities. Somehow they mana ...more
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    491 followers
    Born in Buchans, Newfoundland, Crummey grew up there and in Wabush, Labrador, where he moved with his family in the late 1970s. He went to university with no idea what to do with his life and, to make matters worse, started writing poems in his first year. Just before graduating with a BA in English he won the Gregory Power Poetry Award. First prize was three hundred dollars (big bucks back in 198 ...more
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