The Sister's Tale (Paperback)

The Sister's Tale By Beth Powning Cover Image
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A novel of orphans and widows, terror and hope, and the relationships that hold women together when life falls apart.

With the trial of a murderer dominating the news, the respected wife of a New Brunswick sea captain is drawn into the troubling case of a British home child. Mortified that she must purchase the beautiful teenager in a pauper auction to save her from lechery and abuse, Josephine Galloway finds herself exexpectedly the proprietor of a boarding house maintained by the sweat and tears of a curious collection of women. Among them is the English girl, Flora Salford, haunted by a missing piece of her life that she fears to be lost forever. When tragedy strikes, Flora--already struggling to earn her place in this strange new country--must decide if she can be the pillar Josephine's household desperately needs.

Reconnecting with characters of Beth Powning's beloved The Sea Captain's Wife, while navigating the class realities of Victorian Canada and the rise of women's suffrage, The Sister's Tale is a story of women finding their way, together, through terrible circumstances they could neither predict nor avoid, but will stop at nothing to overcome.

About the Author

BETH POWNING's previous books include the bestselling novels The Hatbox Letters, The Sea Captain's Wife, and A Measure of Light, a Globe and Mail Best Book and winner of the inaugural New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction. Her works of memoir include Seeds of Another Summer: Finding the Spirit of Home in Nature, Shadow Child: An Apprenticeship in Love and Loss, and Edge Seasons: A Mid-Life Year. She lives on a 300-acre farm near Sussex, New Brunswick, with her husband, the renowned sculptor Peter Powning.

Praise For…


“Powning’s approach to historical fiction is, as ever, tactile and immersive.” —The Globe and Mail

“Beth Powning is one of Canada’s most prolific writers. . . . Her latest epic is a sprawling tale . . . [that] bring[s] back beloved characters from her lauded 2007 masterpiece The Sea Captain’s Wife. . . . Both well researched and deliciously entertaining, this book finds Powning at the top of her game.” —The Maritime Edit

“Beautifully crafted, The Sister’s Tale transports us to the very heart of Victorian New Brunswick, leaving us richer for what we have seen there: the strength and courage of its women.” —Eva Stachniak, author of The Chosen Maiden

“Beth Powning is one helluva good writer.” —Donna Morrissey, author of Sylvanus Now

“Meticulously researched and masterfully crafted, Beth Powning’s The Sister’s Tale is a captivating, unforgettable read. Populated with compelling, tenacious and relatable characters, this book is a potent reminder that meaningful change can start with a single voice.” —Ami McKay, bestselling author of The Birth House

The Sister’s Tale transforms a nineteenth-century household into the stage for a gripping high-stakes saga: a story of inheritance and courage that clamours for you to turn yet another page. I savoured it like a bottomless hot toddy.” —Sean Michaels, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of Us Conductors and The Wagers

The Sister’s Tale is a mesmerizing story of loss, betrayal, and the strength to not only find hope amid the ashes, but rise from them. Beth Powning’s lyrical style breaks and mends hearts in equal measure. I found it very difficult to put this novel down. Highly recommend!” —Genevieve Graham, bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child
“In Beth Powning’s newest novel, we enter a world where pauper auctions leave the most vulnerable for sale and women are non-persons in the eyes of the law. Set in Maritime Canada in the late 1880s, The Sister’s Tale brilliantly balances storytelling with keen insight into the gender politics, society and culture of the time. For many, this novel will introduce new and disturbing aspects of Canadian history. Suspenseful and thought-provoking, The Sister’s Tale resonates with relevance during our current times of political and societal challenges, and ultimately illuminates the timeless role of friendship and family. A highly recommended read.” —Ann Yu-Kyung Choi, author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety
“Beth Powning has done it again. This time shedding light on a shameful slice of Canadian history––New Brunswick’s pauper auctions. The novel introduces us to an unorthodox household of nineteenth-century women and girls struggling to survive and thrive in a world dominated by men. Powning’s prose shimmers. Her characters come vividly to life in this tale of sisterhood, female friendship, and the power of love and loss.” —Cecily Ross, author of The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie

Product Details
ISBN: 9780735280045
ISBN-10: 0735280045
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Publication Date: May 24th, 2022
Pages: 328
Language: English