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Song Over Quiet Lake Paperback – September 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Second Story Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189718767X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897187678
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,737,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Chronicle Herald

Song Over Quiet Lake
is a story of profound loss and of the ability of the human heart to find joy and continue to love against overwhelming odds. Burns has given life to a complex cast of is Lydie’s voice which emerges strong and powerful, pulling the other characters into her sphere as their stories interconnect. She is a survivor, an elder whose wisdom and joy shine from the page. "I never worry about being lost no more. ’Cause I know the maps are in our heads. Just like the songs and stories. We humans go away from our maps and forget the way, but if we dream hard enough, the maps come back." (The Chronicle Herald 20100117)

In Song Over Quiet Lake, Canadian-born Colorado-resident Sarah Felix Burns has written a subtle, engaging novel about trauma, failure, and healing. (The Canon BEAT 20100401)

About the Author

Sarah has a degree in women’s studies and history from the University of British Columbia and a masters degree in social work from the University of Toronto. Sarah’s first novel Jackfish, The Vanishing Village was published in late 2007 and won the 2009 Northern Lit Award. Originally from a village outside of Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, Sarah now lives in Colorado but still considers Canada her home.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Friendship and compassion know no age. "Song Over Quiet Lake" tells the story of college student Sylvia Hardy and elderly woman Lydie Jim. Sylvia faces the remnants of a harsh childhood and finds herself looking to Lydie for guidance, and with her stories, Sylvia learns to have the strength to continue on with life. A touching and uplifting tale, "Song Over Quiet Lake" is a fascinating and fun read, sure to please many a reader.
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Format: Paperback
It is late 1990's and two very different women are preparing to gradutate from the University of British Columbia. One, 82 year old Tlingit elderLydie Jim and the other, 20ish Sylvia Hardy. They are from very different backgrounds and both with horrific events in their pasts which follow them to this day. Their lifelong friendship began shortly after Sylvia was hired as a tutor for Lydie.

This story is told through several narrators including: Sylvia, her mother Miriam, her boyfriend River, Lydie, and both her sons Mitchell and Jonah. The final links in the story are supplied by an old priest lying in his death bed.

For the most part, I rather enjoyed this novel. The concept of an elder and a young student befriending each other is quite believable. They both needed and gained something from this relationship. I was somewhat put off by the use of language. No swearing. It made sense to me that Lydie's english wasn't text book perfect, so missed articles and that was fine with me as she didn't learn english till she was at least twelve. I didn't feel that Sylvia's language was up to that of a woman soon to graduate from university. The first time she meets with Lydie for tutoring she is adament about keeping everything professional, yet her language made me think of a sixteen year old. I kept reading and by the middle of the book this became less noticeable to me.

As the two women revealed the past events in their lives, I was surprised at my emotional response to them. Yes, I cried more than a few times. I was also bewildered at some of Sylvia's actions, particularly the night after finishing her final exams. Perhaps that was a true action in some university social circles.
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