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Violet Browne (CA)

This is the House That Luke Built

This is the House That Luke Built

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Muscle sinew bone.

Luke Tremblett is one of five fishermen lost at sea off the coast of Newfoundland. Rose is left to pick up the pieces and learn to live with his sudden absence. And then there are three children, including two-month-old Emily, struggling to face an unbearable loss that has engulfed them.

This sharp, hard-edged novel begins two years after Luke’s disappearance, at the moment that Rose takes her first step through the wall of the house Luke was building when he died. Her body vibrating, she enters a space where Luke waits for her.

Part novel, part fable, part essay on grief, with interlocking scenes that move between past and present and visuals that punctuate the narrative like signposts, This Is the House That Luke Built deftly explores existential questions about what it means to be alive.

A strikingly original debut that combines compassion and bravura to dazzling effect, this new novel by Violet Browne heralds the arrival of a significant new voice.

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Number of pages

Goose Lane


Violet Browne is a writer from Placentia Bay, NL, who now lives in St. John’s. She holds an MA in creative writing from Memorial University and works for the Registered Nurses’ Union of Newfoundland and Labrador. This Is the House That Luke Built, Browne’s first novel, is based on her own experiences after losing her husband at sea.

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