Rockbound by Frank Parker DayRockbound by Frank Parker Day


byFrank Parker Day

Paperback | May 1, 1989

Pricing and Purchase Info

$29.22 online 
$31.95 list price save 8%
Earn 146 plum® points

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


To the harsh domain of Rockbound -- governed by the sternly righteous and rapacious Uriah Jung --comes the youthful David Jung to claim his small share of the island. Filled with dreamy optimism and a love for the unspoken promises of the night sky, David tries to find his way in a narrow, unforgiving, and controlled world. His conflicts are both internal and external, locking him in an unceasing struggle for survival; sometimes the sea is his enemy, sometimes his own rude behavior, sometimes his best friend Gershom Born, sometimes his secret love for the island teacher Mary Dauphiny; but always, inevitably, his Jung relatives and their manifold ambitions for money and power.

The balance of life on Rockbound is precarious and thus fiercely guarded by all who inhabit its lonely domain, but just as a sudden change in the direction of the wind can lead to certain peril at sea, so too can the sudden change in the direction of a man's heart lead to a danger altogether unknown.

Enormously evocative of the power, terror, and dramatic beauty of the Atlantic sea, and unrelenting in its portrait of back-breaking labour, cunning bitterness, and family strife, Rockbound is a story of many passions-love, pride, greed, and yearning -- all formed and buffeted on a small island by an unyielding wind and the rocky landscape of the human spirit.

Canada Reads 2005 Winner!

In a David and Goliath style battle to the finish, Rockbound by Frank Parker Day triumphed over Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and was declared the 2005 Canada Reads winner. In a series of debates that aired on the CBC in February, panelist Donna Morrissey, author of Kit’s Law and Downhill Chance, passionately championed this 1928 novel about life and nature on the small maritime island of Rockbound. The victory has brought this Atlantic Province favourite back into the limelight and is receiving nationwide attention, appearing on several bestseller lists across the country.

After its initial publication, Rockbound remained in out of print status until 1973, when the University of Toronto Press acquired the rights to publish as part of their “Literature of Canada Prose and Poetry in Reprint” series. It was reprinted with an introduction by Allan Bevan of Dalhousie University’s English Department.

In 1989, Gerald Hallowell, an editor with the University of Toronto Press, rescued Rockbound from the backlist of the UTP catalogue. The book was reprinted with an afterword by Gwendolyn Davies, Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of New Brunswick.

UTP had been selling around 200 copies of the book per year, until Donna Morrissey selected it for the Canada Reads debates. Since then, UTP has sold over 35,000 copies and it has been reprinted three times!

The University of Toronto Press would like to thank Donna Morrissey for her superb defense of the book and all of the people at the CBC for their support and encouragement.

Frank Parker Day was born in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, in 1881. He studied at Mount Allison, Oxford, and Berlin, and taught for many years in the United States.
Title:RockboundFormat:PaperbackDimensions:326 pages, 8.01 × 5.25 × 0.83 inPublished:May 1, 1989Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802067239

ISBN - 13:9780802067234

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not a fictitious island! I have to take exception with the book's blurb which calls this a "fictitious island". The author completely based his story on the real inhabitants of the real island of East Ironbound. He just changed the names, and only slightly... Ironbound=Rockbound, and the Jung family is, in real life, the Young family. I'm good friends with one of the modern-day Youngs, in fact, and I've been to the island. I can assure you it's very real! :) This is not to diminish the value of the book in any way. But for Ironbound to not even be mentioned in the write-up is just plain wrong.
Date published: 2010-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Refreshing and different I really enjoyed this novel. While I struggled a bit in the beginning with the 1920's east-coast dialect, I quickly grasped it and found it quite refreshing.
Date published: 2009-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tough men: good book One of those books that sticks in your mind long after reading. The book won the 2005 Canada Reads competition and is a worthy recipient. A great book on a tough life lived by tough men written with compassion.
Date published: 2008-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mythic I first read this in university and was blown away that stories this good exist in my own backyard, about my own backyard. This is one for the ages. You can read it to your kids on the back porch, then they'll read it in school and again and again. I am.
Date published: 2006-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rockbound Earthy Characters. Good story. Well Written. Worth reading. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2005-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stephanie from Mississauga I cannot believe there aren't any more reviews for this book. It pulled me in from the beginning and didn't let go. The harsh life of the fishermen in Nova Scotia is unbelieveable and fascinating. I simply couldn't put it down as I wanted to see what would happen to David Jung - an orphan who came from nothing and tried to find comfort and a place in his world. I'm so thankful this book was rediscovered and re-released. Please give this book a try - you won't regret it.
Date published: 2005-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put it Down After getting through the first two chapters, which were difficult because of the nautical terms, I couldn't put it down. It was a fast read and a great story.
Date published: 2005-03-29

From Our Editors

Rockbound is extraordinary Maritime fiction. Gritty and realistic, it combines intricate detail of fishermen's lives and accurate East Coast dialect with literary analogies and references to the Canterbury Tales and The Tempest. Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, scholar, writer, military officer and college president Frank Parker Day grew to love nature while travelling with his minister father. Boyhood experience on Nova Scotia's South Shore and extensive research in adulthood go into this classic yarn of life, love and adventure on the fictitious island of Rockbound.