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The Matter of Sylvie by Lee Kvern

The Matter of Sylvie by Lee KvernThe Matter of Sylvie by Lee Kvern

A Wednesday in July 1961 begins like any other for Jacqueline Burrows. Jacqueline is the mother of three children, including her sweet, difficult daughter Sylvie. In a story that deals with the extraordinary challenges of raising a child with severe special needs, The Matter of Sylvie traces the course of Jacqueline’s Wednesday, a life-shifting day. The mother’s impulses on that day, combined with her absent husband and her other young children, culminate in an event that echoes into the next two decades.

The resulting decision reverberates over the course of decades and resounds in the individual, pivotal Wednesdays of both her husband, Lloyd, in February 1973, and her adult daughter, Lesa, in October 1987. A familial triptych: three Wednesdays, three decades, three narrators whose lives are intricately woven, The Matter of Sylvie explores the depths of mother, father, and daughter—and ultimately, the matter of Sylvie herself.

Praise for Lee Kvern’s first novella, Afterall

“A spirited, funny and poignant first novella.”—Vue Weekly
“An inspired morality tale that is funny, scary, and bright as a midnight neon strip.”
—Marina Endicott, author of Good to a Fault

Lee Kvern is an award-winning author of short stories and fiction. Her novel, Afterall, was nominated for the 2006 Alberta Book Awards. Her short stories are well celebrated: “White” was the winner of the 2007 CBC Literary Awards, and “I May Have Known You” is nominated for the 2010 Alberta Literary Awards. Her work has been published in Event, Descant, enRoute and Joyland, New York. Lee lives in Okotoks, Alberta.

Visit Lee’s website at: www.leekvern.com

Read a review of  The Matter of Sylvie

September 2010
$19.95, trade paperback
5.5 x 7.5, 216 pages



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Posted by Pearl on Aug 27 2010. Filed under Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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1 Comment for “The Matter of Sylvie by Lee Kvern”

  1. THE MATTER OF SYLVIE, by Lee Kvern, is a delight—humorous and thoughtful at the same time. Three individuals from the same family experience separate Wednesdays, each more than a decade apart, each grappling with the matter of Sylvie. Ms. Kvern draws the reader in from the outset as together we too consider Sylvie from the perspectives of Sylvie’s mother, father, and older sister. I found the writing to be honest and engaging, with a terrific sense and depth of character and place. The characters were well-drawn and vivid, and the locations shivering—particularly the father’s story in the frozen Canadian winter. Sylvie’s specialness reaches across 36 years in this novel as each of her family members, in their own way, seeks to place Sylvie in their lives. Not your ordinary, every day novel and constructed to keep the reader turning pages as these three perspectives intertwine and reveal themselves, perhaps as only family can. There is a lot here in this novel of about 200 pages—a read that will not disappoint.

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