The Canoe for review
Michelle Baker, author
Set over the course of ten days in 1912, this poetic portrait of love and loss follows two simultaneous stories: the coming of age of Bernie Kingston, teenage son of a coffin maker who lives along the Chesapeake Bay and the voyage of Katherine Chambers, a middle-aged Englishwoman leaving home for the first time as she seeks to recover from the loss of her husband and son. Written in a diary format, their parallel journeys are told against the backdrop of the Titanic disaster and the communities touched by its tragedy. Side by side the woman and boy who never meet weave a discourse between youth and middle-age, between love and death, and between dual rites of passage: coming of age and coming to terms with loss.