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About this book
Broke City, the final book in Wendy McGrath's Santa Rosa trilogy, follows young Christine as she edges into self-awareness in the now-vanished Edmonton neighbourhood of Santa Rosa. Budding with creativity that her working-class parents do not understand, Christine questions her parents' fraught relationship, with alcoholism and implicit violence bubbling just under the surface of their marriage. Her insight turns beyond her family to her neighbourhood, nicknamed Packingtown, a community built on meat-packing plants and abattoirs, on death. Written with tight lyricism, Broke City is a brimming working-class gothic novel that reveals Christine's deepening knowledge of the adult world around her and of her own complicated place in that world.
"McGrath's poetic prose shimmers with the all-seeing light of the prairie sun, as she traces the journey of a young girl bravely fighting for her own identity."
"Like Carson McCullers' A Member of the Wedding, Wendy McGrath evokes the wise, tender, poignant observations of childhood. Compelling and oh so true, Broke City is a ghost story of the heart."
"With her now-complete portrait of the artist as a young girl, McGrath proves why she’s a writer to pay attention to." full review
"[Broke City], the finale in McGrath’s portrait of the artist as a young girl growing up in working-class Edmonton, the Santa Rosa trilogy captures a young creative mind and a now-lost neighbourhood of the city." The best reading of the independent presses of the year.