Like the migrating butterflies entomologist Liz Crane studies, she too has returned to her ancestral summer home on Canada’s northern shore of Lake Erie, a trek she has joyfully made since childhood. Now, it is a land in decline, like Liz herself, suffering the ruination brought about by the unexplained disappearance of her charismatic uncle, Stanley, and the deaths of her beloved cousin Mandy, who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan, and Liz’s first love, migrant worker Teo. As Liz moves into the decaying family farmhouse with its ghosts of generations of “great-greats,” she struggles to bring order to the chaos that left her family in disarray, relying on her knowledge of the migratory nature of butterflies to make sense of the more erratic behavior of human beings, with their secrets, lies, obsessions, and acts of betrayal. In precise yet passionate prose, acclaimed Canadian writer Urquhart (A Map of Glass, 2006) poignantly explores the ephemeral and transitory nature of love and family duty, offering a melancholy meditation on these gossamer but powerful ties. --Carol Haggas
--This text refers to the
"Urquhart's prose is as smooth and uncluttered as Margaret Atwood's."
"The most compelling depiction of the sense of place in human lives."
"Urquhart weaves centuries and stories together… She displays a masterful command of language and a grasp of the complexities that form the tapestry of each individual person."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Jane Urquhart is one of the country's most accomplished writers."
—London Free Press
"No other Canadian novelist knows more about the history of rural southern Ontario than Jane Urquhart."
is a book lover's novel… her writing is often beautiful, stirring"
—The Globe and Mail
"Urquhart's prose is pure gold…"
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Urquhart builds stories like an architect… and the brilliance of Urquhart's powerful ending is that it makes us want to start again…"
"Measured, dignified, calm on the surface but containing as much thematic richness and plain literary pleasure as a reader could care to dig for…"
"I'm grateful to have spent time with Sanctuary Line
and soaked up Urquhart's nuanced wisdom…"
"Urquhart has a great gift for the historical novel, for the melding of ideas, events and individuals into a significant whole."
—Claire Messud, The Globe and MailFrom the Hardcover edition.