Kit's Law

Kit's Law

A Novel

Book - 2009
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It is the Fifties in an isolated outport in Newfoundland. Nothing penetrates this antiquated existence, as television, telephones, cars, even roads, elude the villagers and the only visitors are fog-bound fishermen. Here, outside of Haire's Hollow, lives 14-year old Kit Pitman with her mentally handicapped mother Josie -- both women cared for and protected by the indomitable Lizzie, Kit's grandmother. The three live a life of some hardship, but much love, punctuated by the change of seasons in the isolated gully where they live.

Then a tragic change in their circumstances brings back an old threat -- that Josie be sent to an institution and Kit to an orphanage. Advancing this argument is the Reverend Ropson, who from the pulpit decries Josie as the "Gully Tramp." Defending the women is Doc Hodgson, who brought Kit into the world and knows the secrets of her birth. An uneasy truce is forged, with the Reverend's son Sid acting as spy and woodcutter, while village women supply food and gossip. Josie delights in Sid's visits, and Kit grows to love him.

There is another menace in Haire's Hollow -- the notorious rapist and killer known as Shine. When Shine attacks Kit in a drunken rage, it sets off a chain of events that leads to further violence and a terrible revelation. Kit and Sid must decide which laws of God and man apply in their despairing world and how much misery they can bear.

Kit's Law is a stunning debut written with the stark rawness of character and landscape of the Rock itself. It evokes the lyrical gifts of E. Annie Proulx, the emotional power of Wally Lamb, and the compelling storytelling of Ann-Marie MacDonald. At its centre is the innocence and determination of Kit herself, a young woman who experiences extremes of pain on the way to redemption. As she says: "It is better to sense nothing at all, to move through the world and glimpse it from a distance, then to split God's gift in half and live in its underside, with no rays of light dispersing the darkness."

Publisher: Toronto : Penguin, 2009.
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9780143170341
Branch Call Number: MOR
Characteristics: 383 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

This book, along with Sylvanus Now and What They Wanted, are three of my favourites from this Newfoundland writer. I have a weakness for fiction from the Rock and these, along with February by Lisa Moore, Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant and an older book, Rockbound by Frank Parker Day, take y... Read More »

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 07, 2014

Built on the challenges and hardships faced by a child and her handicapped mother in a relatively isolated Newfoundland outpost, this is a powerful first novel. Widely acclaimed, both in her native Newfoundland and in the rest of the country, Morrissey has captured the spirit and dialect of her homeland in this touching work.

mooncat Dec 24, 2013

It took a few pages to get in to the book as the plot was a bit unusual as was the dialogue but once I did.......I loved it! The author is very talented and I will definitely read her other books.

Aug 06, 2010

I love this book; the plot is so different, but also very authentic. It is extremely interesting but also incredibly emotional.

Jun 06, 2010

This is a good book, but adults will appreciate it more. It's definitely not geared towards young audiences.

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Jun 06, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Jun 06, 2010

Sexual Content: Some graphic scenes and a rape


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