Strange Heaven

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Strange Heaven

by Lynn Coady

Goose Lane Editions | December 31, 1998 | Trade Paperback |

4.5 out of 5 rating. 2 Reviews
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Strange Heaven is tearfully hilarious, as funny and appalling as reality. Bridget Murphy, almost eighteen, has come to Halifax from industrial Cape Breton, had her baby, and given it up for adoption. Transferred to the psych ward of the children's hospital, she's incarcerated with five seriously disturbed teenagers and a flock of wan children.

She's depressed, they say. Apathetic. Bridget is a bit detached, but Four South is peaceful compared with the chaos back home. Her grandmother, Margaret P., raves and prays from her bed, banging the wall with her bedpan. Bridget's parents, Robert and Joan, take care of her and her mentally handicapped son, Rollie. Joan tries to keep the lid on, but she's no match for Robert's wild profanity, Margaret's dementia, and Rollie's efforts to join the fray. Uncle Albert, a kind man who saves his eloquent wrath for outsiders, springs Bridget from the hospital for Christmas.

But home is more chaotic than ever, and she's sick of her boozy friends and the whining of the baby's father. She had half planned to hibernate at home till kingdom come, but it's become like a lurid movie she saw eons ago and she's forgotten the plot. Her future may be unclear, but she has a good idea of the direction it won't take.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 198 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: December 31, 1998

Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0864922302

ISBN - 13: 9780864922304

Found in: History

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– More About This Product –

Strange Heaven

Strange Heaven

by Lynn Coady

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 198 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: December 31, 1998

Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0864922302

ISBN - 13: 9780864922304

From the Publisher

Strange Heaven is tearfully hilarious, as funny and appalling as reality. Bridget Murphy, almost eighteen, has come to Halifax from industrial Cape Breton, had her baby, and given it up for adoption. Transferred to the psych ward of the children's hospital, she's incarcerated with five seriously disturbed teenagers and a flock of wan children.

She's depressed, they say. Apathetic. Bridget is a bit detached, but Four South is peaceful compared with the chaos back home. Her grandmother, Margaret P., raves and prays from her bed, banging the wall with her bedpan. Bridget's parents, Robert and Joan, take care of her and her mentally handicapped son, Rollie. Joan tries to keep the lid on, but she's no match for Robert's wild profanity, Margaret's dementia, and Rollie's efforts to join the fray. Uncle Albert, a kind man who saves his eloquent wrath for outsiders, springs Bridget from the hospital for Christmas.

But home is more chaotic than ever, and she's sick of her boozy friends and the whining of the baby's father. She had half planned to hibernate at home till kingdom come, but it's become like a lurid movie she saw eons ago and she's forgotten the plot. Her future may be unclear, but she has a good idea of the direction it won't take.

From the Jacket

Strange Heaven is tearfully hilarious, as funny and appalling as real life. Bridget Murphy, almost 18, has gone to Halifax from industrial Cape Breton, had her baby, and given it up for adoption. She's apathetic, the doctors decide, so they transfer her to the psych ward of the children's hospital. There, she's cooped up with five seriously disturbed teenagers and a flock of wan children.

Sent home for Christmas, Bridget faces domestic uproar. Her grandmother, Margaret P., raves and prays from her bed, banging the wall with her bedpan. Bridget's kind-hearted parents, Robert and Joan, also take care of Robert's mentally handicapped brother, Rollie. Joan's efforts to keep the lid on are no match for Robert's wild profanity, Margaret's dementia, and Rollie's efforts to join the fray.

Bridget's boozy friends, her whining ex-boyfriend, and the family chaos make up a "strange heaven" in which her apathy starts to lift. Her vague plan to hibernate at home forever is off. Whatever she does, her drifting days are over.

About the Author

Lynn Coady was adopted into the multitudinous Coady family of Margaree, Cape Breton, and grew up in industrial Port Hawkesbury. A graduate of Carleton University, she has seen her first play, Cowboy Names, performed by Theatre Fredericton, and Monster, her second, shortlisted in Theatre BC''s National Play Writing Competition. Monster is also a finalist for the Women in View ''98 Anniversary Theatre Festival and the Praxis Screenwriting Award. Other Voices, Free Magazine, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, and the anthology Fiddlehead Gold have all published Coady''s stories. At present, she lives in Vancouver.

From Our Editors

Bridget Murphy isn't a typical 18-year-old. The Cape Breton native came to Halifax's children's hospital, gave birth to a baby, put it up for adoption and ended up incarcerated in the psych ward with five seriously-disturbed teens. The hospital staff says she's depressed, but this is a vacation compared to her home life. Bridget's grandmother raves and prays from bed, her father swears like a sailor and her mother tries to cover it. That's not even mentioning her boozehound friends and whiny ex-boyfriend. When she goes home for Christmas, she decides her future may be unclear, but she knows the direction it won't take. Nominated for a Governor General's award, Lynn Coady's Strange Heaven makes our everyday troubles seem mundane.

Editorial Reviews

"Lynn Coady is out to bust the stereotype; she writes about her home with irreverence, ambivalence, and a lot of humour." - Quill & Quire
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