Queen of the Godforsaken by Mix HartQueen of the Godforsaken by Mix Hart

Queen of the Godforsaken

byMix Hart

Paperback | October 1, 2015

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Lydia Buckingham is fifteen years old when her parents uproot the family and drag Lydia and her younger sister Victoria across the country to live on the abandoned family homestead in rural Saskatchewan. At first the girls see this as an adventure, a chance to collect prairie relics, take care of animals, learn to drive in the fields, and find out more about the history of Batoche that has Lydia utterly fascinated. Soon the harsh reality of the situation sets in, as Lydia’s father Alex seems unable to secure steady employment at the University and her mother Mary Jane becomes depressed and suicidal. The land which once seemed to hold so much promise has become Godforsaken.<_o3a_p>

<_o3a_p> Things become worse for Lydia when she begins attending school in the “hick town” nearby, and she is immediately singled out for her unique fashion sense and disinterest in becoming friends with any of the locals. A battle of wills also ensues between Lydia and her English teacher, and after she writes a scathing poem painting him as a pedophile, her reputation as an ice queen is sealed. The only people who see through Lydia’s hard exterior are a boy from a neighbouring farm, handsome hockey-crazed Brady, and two elderly Francophone neighbours, Grand’Mere and her son Napoleon.<_o3a_p>

<_o3a_p> With her parents becoming increasingly neglectful, Lydia hatches a plan for her and Victoria’s escape. They start skipping school and gathering supplies for a trek into the Saskatchewan winter, and soon are preparing to face a blizzard that could prove too much for even an ice queen. Queen of the Godforsaken is a fresh coming-of-age story set in an environment that proves itself both beautiful and brutal. Lydia’s story of adolescent angst and surviving an abusive family is inspiring in its honest portrayal of growing up in rural Canada.<_o3a_p>

Mix Hart writes novels, the Peter-Not Pizzaface junior fiction series, picture books, and freelance articles, and is a blogger at Musings . . . by Mix Hart. Hart has lived all across Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts including the Yukon as well as in the United Kingdom. She currently resides in Kelowna, British Columbia, w...
Title:Queen of the GodforsakenFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.78 inPublished:October 1, 2015Publisher:Thistledown PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:177187063X

ISBN - 13:9781771870634


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for me I thought it started off great. I think she is very talented and has a very descriptive writing style, however I only read about the first thirteen pages and I took it back to the store. I found the language unnecessary and for me it took away from the book. I've been called a prude so don't need any backlash, but I don't use that language and don't listen to it and am not going to read it. But apart from that with what little I read I am sure she is a talented writer that probably doesn't need that to sell her books.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the humour and felt the characters were believable and real - especially Lydia. I really related to the love/hate sister relationship having grown up on a farm with a sister only 2.5 years older than me. Your book was a delight from start to finish. Great work!!
Date published: 2016-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read! I loved this book. Young adults and older would find this very entertaining. It was funny, witty and you might also learn a bit of history! Some of my friends said they laughed out loud in places and wept in others. Never boring.
Date published: 2016-01-01

Read from the Book

It is nearly dusk when we finally make it back to our own pasture. I am sweaty, dehydrated, and can barely focus on keeping the truck on the wagon trail. I keep that last bit to myself. For the first time ever, I am happy to see the house. “Oh-oh, here comes Dad,” Victoria says. He runs through the corral, toward the truck. His legs move fast but his face moves slow. I wish it were Victoria and not me behind the wheel. His hand reaches for the driver’s side door before I even brake. “Where in the hell have you been with my truck? I’ve been waiting all day for you two,” he says, wearing clean jeans and an ironed, crisp, blue checked shirt. “We parked the truck and walked to Batoche,” I say. I want to tell him about Dumont but he is in no mood. “No more driving privileges. The truck is officially off limits.” He reaches his hand through the window, opening my door from the inside. A whiff of freshly applied, spicy deodorant stings my nostrils. “But we didn’t drive on any roads,” I say. He ignores me. “Why? Until when?” “Until I say so, that’s when. Everyone out of the truck. I’ve got to make it to the university before everyone leaves. The university is screwing me around. I can’t feed you two on one course. Out, now! That means all of you.” His eyes are wide with adrenalin. His glasses look comical on top of them. Marx won’t budge. The red on Dad’s neck crawls up the sides of his face, resembling mutton-chop side burns. “Marx, get the hell out of the truck. Move—bad dog!” A whimper escapes Marx’s floppy lips. Dad sighs a heavy, about to vomit his soul, sigh. He jumps in the truck. “Open the gate Lydia!” he says, through the open window. Victoria and I lift the corral gate. He speeds past with Marx at his side. “Why is he taking Marx with him to the university?” Victoria says. Her fists clutch the back of my sleeve, as though, somehow, I’ll protect her from the craziness that is our father. “No clue. Maybe he’s finally snapped, lost his mind.” The truck brakes abruptly at the end of the driveway. Dad jumps out and starts to yell. I can’t make out the words. He gets back in the cab but leaves the passenger side door open. Marx’s butt emerges from the truck. He’s being forcibly pushed out, arse first. Marx tries to jump back in but the truck door slams shut and it drives off, spitting gravel and leaving Marx behind in a cloud of dust. Mom sits at the kitchen at the table, a flypaper, plastered with dead flies, swings low over her head, threatening to attach itself to her hair. She’s been crying. Her eyes turn turquoise when she cries. “What’s wrong?” I say. Mom closes her eyes and shakes her head. “Tell me Mom, please.” “Nothing. Nothing is wrong. Just leave me alone, okay?” Victoria opens the fridge, looks inside momentarily and then slams the door. “What can I drink? I’m dying here!” “Close the fridge—have a glass of water,” Mom says. “Are you crazy? The water tastes like shit,” Victoria says. She rolls her eyes dramatically as she passes Mom. Her braids are nearly completely unravelled on top, like two budding devil horns.“Upstairs, now!” Mom says.“Get a grip,” Victoria says, stomping up stairs.“Victoria can be a real bitch sometimes,” I say, bending over Mom from behind and wrapping my arms around her shoulders. Her hair smells stale, a little greasy, and kinda like dandruff. It smelled good in Vancouver, like peppermint from the mousse she used. “Mom, when was the last time you washed your hair?” I say. She forcibly breaks free of my embrace. She bolts down the basement stairs and slams her bedroom door. I wait, standing behind her empty chair until I no longer hear her muffled sobs. Shit is right. There is nothing in the fridge but milk and Dad’s light beer. I hate milk. I grab a beer and climb the oak staircase to my room, pausing to look out the landing window at the giant orange beach ball rising above the poplars. The dingy staircase wall is painted warm amber in its light. It’s too beautiful. A sharp pinch of sadness twists beneath my ribs. I know what it is, the harvest moon. Prairie summers don’t last forever.