An intoxicating cocktail of adrenaline and the kind of vulnerability we would all admit to if we were honest, Once You Break a Knuckle explores the courage it takes just to make it through the day.
Set in the remote Kootenay Valley in western Canada, these are stories of good people doing bad things: two bullied adolescents sabotage a rope swing, resulting in another boy’s death; a heartbroken young man refuses to warn his best friend about an approaching car; sons challenge fathers and break taboos. Crackling with tension and propelled by jagged, cutting dialogue, the stories interconnect and reveal to us how our best intentions are doomed to fail or injure, how our loves can fall short or mislead us, how even friendship—especially friendship—can be something dangerously temporary.
Wilson portrays a world barbed with violence and the possibility of betrayal. And yet, in this small, finely wrought universe, it is with doggedness and dignity that we carry on.