Newly arrived to the countryside, William Heath, his wife, and two daughters appear the picture of a devoted family. But when accusations of embezzlement spur William to commit an unthinkable crime, those who witnessed this affectionate, attentive father go about his routine of work and family must reconcile action with character. A doctor who has cared for one daughter, encouraging her trust, examines the finer details of his brief interactions with William, searching for clues that might penetrate the mystery of his motivation. Meanwhile the other daughter’s teacher grapples with guilt over a moment when fate wove her into a succession of events that will haunt her dreams.
In beautifully crafted prose, Mary Swan examines the volatile collisions between our best intentions—how a passing stranger can leave an indelible mark on our lives even as the people we know most intimately become alienated by tides of self-preservation and regret. In her nuanced, evocative descriptions a locket contains immeasurable sorrow, trees provide sanctuary and refuge to lost souls, and grief clicks into place when a man cocks the cold steel barrel of a revolver. A supreme literary achievement, The Boys in the Trees offers a chilling story that swells with acutely observed emotion and humanity. (From the publisher's webpage)
Boys in the Trees has been shortlisted for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
MARY SWAN's first novel, The Boys in the Trees, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2008 and for the Amazon First Novel Award. She is the winner of the 2001 O. Henry Award for short fiction and is the author of the novella The Deep, a finalist for the Canada/Caribbean Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and the collection Emma's Hands. Her work has appeared in several Canadian literary magazines and anthologies, including Malahat Review and Best Canadian Stories, as well as in American publications such as Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Zoetrope and Harper's Magazine. She lives with her family in Guelph, Ontario.
Author bio taken from publisher's website: http://www.randomhouse.ca/books/227569/my-ghosts-by-mary-swan