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What is real when seen through the eyes of a child? When does the harshness of reality transform idyllic memories? The young narrator of Wendy McGrath's new book seeks the answers to these questions as she tries to make sense of the disintegration of her parents' marriage—a process echoed by the slow disintegration of their neighbourhood.
In subtle poetic prose, Wendy McGrath evokes afternoons at the fair captured in overexposed photographs, and a family's disquieting day at the beach as moments that exist apart from time, in a place where every sense is heightened, and where every memory is sharpened as if in a lucid dream where understanding lies just beyond reach.
"Beautifully wrought! In Santa Rosa, Wendy McGrath takes us into the province of childhood, recreating the essence of a time and place where our eyes are opened to the colours of the world, her writing rich with sensory images and closely observed detail. Hers is a songlike gift, and Santa Rosa is a novel of poetic grace."
"Wendy McGrath captures the fragmented dynamics of family from a child's point of view. Her prose evokes a lyrical menace and a sense of period that is simultaneously past and vividly present."