Monkey Beach, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting and fishing in the remote Native village of Kitamaat, where the land slips into the green ocean on the northern edge of the world and strange things bubble below the surface, LisaMarie has always been different. Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can't escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her at the end of the line. Then one day her little brother Jimmy goes missing at sea, and as LisaMarie sits waiting for news, aged nineteen but feeling a hundred, she sorts through the blackest secrets of her damaged life, in search of hope.

Wild, sensuous and terrifying, MONKEY BEACH binds our most primal fears to an exquisitely haunting landscape in an unforgettable modern ghost story.




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I could not resist the narrative voice of this earthy, augury filled, family rich story set in the First Nations Haisla community of western Canada. Nineteen year old Lisamarie is generally fearless and never takes guff from anyone--she’ll launch herself at a gang of bullies without hesitation and her uncle affectionately calls her monster--but the nighttime visits she receives from a small, wild, red haired man terrify her because they always precede a death or tragedy. It’s a visionary “gift” she discovers runs in her family, though no one talks much about anymore so she’s mostly on her own with it. When her younger brother Jimmy is lost at sea Lisamarie embarks on a solo speedboat trip up the Pacific coast driven by guilt, fear and grief, determined to find him or his body. Her vivid memories and visions along the way take the story all the way back to her early childhood and into the land of the dead.The ending? It’s somewhat hallucinatory, not something I could confidently articulate, but I was swept along anyway. With writing that’s beautiful and raw, this book is a colorful, sometimes dizzying odyssey, filled with ghosts, poverty, kinship ties, Haisla culture, Sasquatch monkey men, and the grit and wonder of the natural world.

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