The Clay Girl (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Wow! Incredible writing meets an absolutely devastating story in this amazing poetic debut novel. The struggle to overcome brutal emotional and physical trauma in childhood colors every aspect of the lives of the Appleton sisters. Tucker's writing is edgy, sparse and inventive as she expertly shows us the inner thoughts and workings of a truly dysfunctional family that manages to maintain hope and grace despite incredible odds.  Achingly beautiful!

— From Phyllis


A stunning and lyrical debut novel

A 2016 Indie Next and Indies Introduce Pick

Vincent Appleton smiles at his daughters, raises a gun, and blows off his head. For the Appleton sisters, life had unravelled many times before. This time it explodes.

Eight-year-old Hariet, known to all as Ari, is dispatched to Cape Breton and her Aunt Mary, who is purported to eat little girls. But Mary and her partner, Nia, offer an unexpected refuge to Ari and her steadfast companion, Jasper, an imaginary seahorse.

Yet the respite does not last, and Ari is torn from her aunts and forced back to her twisted mother and fractured sisters. Her new stepfather, Len, and his family offer hope, but as Ari grows to adore them, she's severed violently from them too, when her mother moves in with the brutal Dick Irwin.

Through the sexual revolution and drug culture of the 1960s, Ari struggles with her father's legacy and her mother's addictions, testing limits with substances that numb and men who show her kindness. Ari spins through a chaotic decade of loss and love, the devilish and divine, with wit, tenacity, and the astonishing balance unique to seahorses.

The Clay Girl is a beautiful tour de force.

About the Author

Heather Tucker has won many prose and short-story writing competitions, and her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals. The Clay Girl is her first novel. She lives in Ajax, Ontario.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781770413030
ISBN-10: 1770413030
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: November 13th, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English