Publication Information

Available August 30, 2013 in paperback and in e-book.

Buy at Thistledown Buy at Amazon

Thistledown Press, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Print ISBN: 9781927068472
ePUB ISBN: 9781927068519
Web PDF: 9781927068779



At the heart of every story in Audrey Whitson’s collection is a character seeking personal purpose amongst the deep mysteries of self, and a wholeness amid the fractious nature of life. Whitson’s evocative narration guides us effortlessly through these often turbulent journeys, seamlessly taking in a vast range of time and place along the way. An admirable authenticity of voice lends an intimacy and honesty to her carefully constructed tales. The vividly depicted Mexican terrain and culture of “The Land Within” permeates a conflicted young woman and helps her to uncover her true self; “The Parts of a Man That Can Be Held Together” features a devout Catholic desperately struggling to resolve religious identity with sexual orientation. “The Water Witcher” shows Christianity and white magic making surprisingly comfortable partners while widening the worldly understanding of a young Albertan farm girl. Whitson’s respect for her characters and gift for depicting a world enriched by diversity of beliefs, combined with a unique spiritual edge, creates a book alluringly imbued with significance, unveiled secrets, and mysterious events.


“This book is almost a novel, a kind of female Bildungsroman about growing up within, but also in defiance of the culture of Catholicism.”

— Susan Haley, “Not Your Little House on the Prairie,” The Fiddlehead, Spring 2014

“The stories subvert simplistic expectations; none lead to stereotypical moralistic lessons and all steer clear of judgment and guilt. Instead, Whitson’s protagonists connect with extraordinary personalities who defy traditional religious attitudes…”

— Kat Main, Alberta Views, April 2014

“With this collection, Whitson prods us to examine our own journeys towards (or away from) faith in search of our true selves.”

— Rebecca Higgins, the Telegraph-JournalSeptember 21, 2013

“The prose is transparent, the details rich, the symbolism apt, and the understanding subtle and complex.”

— 2014 Jury, Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction

“Each place is vividly captured, grounded in the earth, from black loam to red dust, but it is in illuminating the land within that Whitson excels.”

— Caterina Edwards, author of Finding Rosa 

“Engrossing and searching. These stories deal with the mysteries at the heart of childhood, family, and life. Audrey Whitson is a writer to watch.”

— Mary Borsky, author of Influence of the Moon and Cobalt Blue