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For twelve generations, the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement. They have each been offered a generous compensation package to leave the island for good. There’s just one proviso: everyone must go.

Gradually, all of the residents surrender to the inevitable. All of the residents, that is, but one: old Moses Sweetland.

Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses resists the coercion of family and friends in order to hold onto the only place he’s ever called home. As his options dwindle, Moses Sweetland concocts a scheme to remain the island’s only living resident.

Cut off from the outside world, with the food supply diminishing and weather shredding away the last evidence of human habitation, Sweetland finds himself, finally, in the company of ghosts . . .

Written with incomparable emotional power and depth, Sweetland is a story about loyalty and courage, about the human will to persist even when all hope seems lost.

Reviews

Remarkable . . . The conflict between the old and new ways, memory and reality are ongoing themes in the novel, strengthened by Crummey's knack for seamlessly mixing past and present.
Calgary Herald
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2015 There's a quietness to Michael Crummey's novel that adds to its power ... What's most appealing about this subtle, entertaining, and quietly moving novel is the humanity of its characters and the genuine feel of Sweetland itself.
Amazon Best Book of the Month
Moses is a memorably strong-willed character... [Sweetland] also conveys the way that a sense of place is the product of relationships-among the living, with the dead, and, in Moses's case, arising from intimate connections to land and sea.
Publishers Weekly, Starred review.
He writes of it with great specificity and vivid windblown imagery
Times Literary Supplement
As Crummey's elegant prose and storytelling prowess makes abundantly clear, no man is an island.'
The Scotsman
I admire Crummey's spare, evocative prose and his brilliant idea.
Quentin Letts, The Lady
Seductive, supple and haunting. . . . Sweetland is a wistful eulogy for a dying way of life.
Toronto Star
An evocative portrait of a disappearing way of life, Sweetland is also a powerful rumination on what's lost in letting go of the past-and the sometimes-unbearable cost of trying to hold onto it.
Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You.
The elimination of an entire community, and what it represents, is deeply felt. Through its crusty protagonist, Crummey's shrewd, absorbing novel tells us how rich a life can be, even when experienced in the narrowest of physical confines.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred review.
Best decision of my reading year ... Written with a spare, salty style, this superb tale will reverberate with anyone who feels isolated by modernity. It may also make you hanker to visit Canada's remote east coast.
Daily Mail, What's the Best Book You Read in 2015?