|Title||Far From Shore|
|Year of Publication||1980|
|Descriptors||Alcoholism; English Language; Families; Fishing Community; Friendship; Newfoundland and Labrador; Novel; Realism; Young Adult|
This realistic young adult novel tells the story of fifteen year old Chris as he copes with his father's alcoholism, his mother's new romantic entanglement, and growing up in a small town in Newfoundland. Chris makes several attempts to improve his lot, but his bad reputation and his lack of responsibility thwart him again and again. Each chapter is told in Newfoundland dialect in the voice of a different family member. Kevin Major is from Stephenville, Newfoundland.
Newfoundland and Labrador
|Age Range|| |
Far From Shore is Kevin Major's second young adult novel, and is told from the perspective of each member of a Newfoundland family. The novel explores the struggles of the entire family, but quickly becomes focused on the son, Christopher Slade. Chris uses humour to help his family deal with the loss his father's job and his father's increasingly problematic drinking habit. When humour no longer works, Chris finds himself struggling with school, rural boredom, family strife, and, like his father, Chris turns to alcohol to help him get through the tough times. A run-in with the law and a new job as a camp-counsellor help Chris address his own problems, and at the same time, force him to face the consequences of his actions. Far From Shore is a young adult realistic fiction novel. It is written from the first-person perspective of each member of the family. Shifts in perspective are indicated by italicized character names.
Chris: "I just got to get out of the house. I can’t stick it here any longer, not the way they’re all getting on my back. A stupid present. Big deal. I’m sorry I done it, but what a thing to blow up about. I’ll never understand that stupid sister of mine. She knows it was only for a joke, and I tell her that again while we’re eating dinner. The look she gives me is enough to make a grizzly puke.
And that’s the highlight of the meal. Dad makes it up finally, but he’s too hung over to say more than two words at the table. I got to feel sorry for him just the same, because his guts must really be feeling rotten. For sure the turkey don’t do anything to help matters. You need about a gallon of water to wash down every forkful of the white meat. And no dressing, and Mom knows that dressing is the best part I likes." (25)
Mother: "I don’t mind anybody taking a few drinks. You wouldn’t survive in this world if you was like that. But there’s so much liquor on the go now see they don’t know when to stop. One time each family’d have a couple of bottles and that’d last all during Christmas. Now they’re not satisfied if they don’t see the bottom of the bottle once it’s put on the table." (38)