Strange Heaven by Lynn Coady

Strange Heaven

byLynn Coady

Paperback | December 31, 1998

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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.

About The Author

Lynn Coady (b. 1970) grew up on Cape Breton Island and lived in New Brunswick before moving to Vancouver. Her first novel, Strange Heaven (Goose Lane, 1998), won the Dartmouth Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Fiction. "Batter My Heart" appeared first in the Fiddlehead and is included in her second book...
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Details & Specs

Title:Strange HeavenFormat:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 8.48 × 5.56 × 0.58 inPublished:December 31, 1998Publisher:GOOSE LANE EDITIONSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0864922302

ISBN - 13:9780864922304

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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