The Retreat
Enlarge View

The Retreat

Written by David BergenDavid Bergen Author Alert
Category: Fiction - Literary; Fiction
Format: Trade Paperback, 328 pages
Publisher: Emblem Editions
ISBN: 978-0-7710-1254-9 (0-7710-1254-3)

Pub Date: June 2, 2009
Price: $21.00

Add this item to your cart

The Retreat
Written by David Bergen

Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780771012549
Our Price: $21.00
   Quantity: 1 

Also available as an eBook.
About this Book

Bestselling novelist David Bergen follows his Scotiabank Giller Prize—winning The Time in Between with a haunting novel about the clash of generations — and cultures.

In 1973, outside of Kenora, Ontario, Raymond Seymour, an eighteen-year-old Ojibway boy, is taken by a local policeman to a remote island and left for dead.

A year later, the Byrd family arrives in Kenora. They have come to stay at “the Retreat,” a commune run by the self-styled guru Doctor Amos. The Doctor is an enigmatic man who spouts bewildering truisms, and who bathes naked every morning in the pond at the edge of the Retreat while young Everett Byrd watches from the bushes. Lizzy, the eldest of the Byrd children, cares for her younger brothers Fish and William, and longs for what she cannot find at the Retreat. When Lizzy meets Raymond, everything changes, and Lizzy comes to understand the real difference between Raymond’s world and her own. A tragedy and a love story, the novel moves towards a conclusion that is both astonishing and heartbreaking.

Set during the summer of the Ojibway occupation of Anicinabe Park in Kenora, The Retreat is a finely nuanced, deeply felt novel that tells the story of the complicated love between a white girl and a native boy, and of a family on the verge of splintering forever. It is also a story of the bond between two brothers who were separated in childhood, and whose lives and fates intertwine ten years later.

A brilliant portrait of a time and a place, The Retreat confirms Bergen’s reputation as one of the country’s most gifted and compelling writers.

From the Hardcover edition.

up Back to top | e-mail or print this page

NOMINEE 2008 - Scotiabank Giller Prize
WINNER 2009 - McNally Robinson Book of the Year
WINNER 2009 - Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

up Back to top | e-mail or print this page
Review Quotes

“Bergen’s characters move and breathe, demonstrating the delicate balance between hope and despair, salvation and damnation.”
Toronto Star

“David Bergen is a master of taut, spare prose that’s both erotic and hypnotic. . . .”
— Miriam Toews

“Bergen’s novels are marvels of spare prose and weighty emotion.”
Saturday Night

“The writing of Winnipeg's David Bergen, who won a host of prizes including the Giller for his last novel, The Time in Between, sometimes gets compared to that of Cormac McCarthy; taut, psychological fiction that floats just above a kind of menacing nihilism. His new novel, The Retreat, keeps to the pattern.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Paired with chirping crickets and a porch-side perch, the finely wrought prose and bucolic setting make for a perfect early-fall-evening companion.”
Toronto Life

“The Giller Prize–winner’s latest book is a gripping tale that leaves the reader heavy-hearted yet driven to turn the page.”
Canadian Living

“Throughout the story, the spare writing lends an atmosphere of foreboding, even dread, that makes for compelling reading.”
Edmonton Journal.

The Retreat is a powerful and engrossing novel, further proof that the late-blooming Bergen is now one of Canada's very best writers.”
— Montreal Gazette

“…the novel speeds along in [Bergen’s] characteristically exquisite prose.”
The Walrus

“Bergen excels at creating dramatic scenes of survival. . . . A meaningful and significant work.”
Globe and Mail

“Bergen makes every word count.”
Ottawa Citizen

From the Hardcover edition.

up Back to top | e-mail or print this page
Reader Reviews

"Bergen's phrasing and language are beautiful.... As the novel hurtles towards it's inevitable end, I could not put it down. I was thinking about The Retreat long after I turned the final page."
— Luanne O, Ontario

up Back to top | e-mail or print this page
About this Author

David Bergen’s award-winning fiction includes The Case of Lena S., winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and The Time in Between, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. It was also named a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A member of the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury, Bergen lives in Winnipeg.

From the Hardcover edition.

up Back to top | e-mail or print this page
book cover

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!