Penguin Random House Canada
The Adversary: A Novel by Michael Crummey
From the award-winning, bestselling author of The Innocents, a dark, enthralling novel about love and its limitations, the corruption of power and the power of corruption.
In an isolated outport on Newfoundland's northern coastline, Abe Strapp is about to marry the daughter of a rival merchant to cement his hold on the shore when the Widow Caines arrives to throw the wedding and Abe's plans into chaos.
That ruthless act of sabotage is the opening salvo in a battle between the man and woman who own Mockbeggar's largest mercantile firms, each fighting for the scarce resources of the north Atlantic fishery, each seeking a measure of revenge on the person they despise most in the world. As their unshakeable animosity spirals further each year into vendettas and violence, the community is increasingly divided and even the innocents in Mockbeggar find themselves forced to take sides, with devastating consequences.
Through merciless seasons of uncertainty and want, through predatory storms and pandemics and marauding privateers, it is the human heart that reveals itself to be the most formidable and unpredictable adversary for each person drawn, inevitably and helplessly, into that endless feud.
Compulsively readable and uncompromising, The Adversary is a pitch-perfect evocation of a lost time, and a shadowed mirror to our modern politics of grievance and retribution. It is Michael Crummey's finest novel to date.
MICHAEL CRUMMEY is author of the memoir Newfoundland: Journey into a Lost Nation; seven books of poetry, including Arguments with Gravity, winner of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry; and the short fiction collection Flesh and Blood. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and his second novel, The Wreckage, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His third novel, Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and the Caribbean) and was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. His fourth novel, Sweetland, was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. His most recent novel, The Innocents, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award. Michael Crummey lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.