Silent Inlet

Joanna Streetly - Bio and Media
pb / 2005-09 / Fiction /
978-088982-207-8 / 448pp / $22.95

Silent Inlet traces the lives of four very different characters in Hansen Sound, a fictional small-town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Amidst storms, mist and rain, they find themselves thrown together, struggling to trust one another. When a violent accident injures a handicapped boy, the tentative relationships that they have established begin to fall apart. Chaos ensues and lives begin to unravel.

Harry Farre is a feisty woman in her sixties, who lives primitively on an island in the middle of Hansen Sound. Her daughter, Hannah, is returning to the Sound in the aftermath of a failed relationship. Big Mack Stanley is a First Nations man in his late thirties, beset by the troubles of his upbringing. His orphaned nephew, Lonny, is ten years old, desperate for love and a place to belong. Each of these characters sees life without “seeing” each other, and the story is told in their interweaving voices and points of view.

Hesquiaht hereditary chief, Simon Lucas, once said: “You only see us with one eye.” This novel brings the west coast to life through a spectrum of perspectives within which the reader experiences the raw physicality of people and place: people who are caught in the sea of turbulence, hardship and brilliance that characterizes the west coast, shaped by its history, First Nations culture, and the forces of Nature.