The Clay Girl (Paperback)
Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst parent hand ever: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who’s both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addictive personality who bore six girls without an iota of love for anyone but herself. But Ari attracts goodness and mines kindness even from the most surprising people and because she is a story weaver, she reroutes her story. The Clay Girl moves from 1960s Toronto, the drug culture, the sexual revolution, to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing and then back to the pain again. This is full of those take away your breath lines, the ones you want to write down and keep in your pocket for when you need them. Ari joins the ranks of heroines like Lyra Belacqua or Liesel Meminger, girls who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.— Linda
A stunning and lyrical debut novel Vincent Appleton smiles at his daughters, raises a gun, and blows off his head. For the Appleton sisters, life had unravelled many times before. This time it explodes. Eight-year-old Hariet, known to all as Ari, is dispatched to Cape Breton and her Aunt Mary, who is purported to eat little girls. But Mary and her partner, Nia, offer an unexpected refuge to Ari and her steadfast companion, Jasper, an imaginary seahorse. Yet the respite does not last, and Ari is torn from her aunts and forced back to her twisted mother and fractured sisters. Her new stepfather, Len, and his family offer hope, but as Ari grows to adore them, she's severed violently from them too, when her mother moves in with the brutal Dick Irwin. Through the sexual revolution and drug culture of the 1960s, Ari struggles with her father's legacy and her mother's addictions, testing limits with substances that numb and men who show her kindness. Ari spins through a chaotic decade of loss and love, the devilish and divine, with wit, tenacity, and the astonishing balance unique to seahorses. The Clay Girl is a beautiful tour de force about a child sculpted by kindness, cruelty, and the extraordinary power of imagination, and her families -- the one she's born in to and the one she creates.
About the Author
Heather Tucker has won many prose and short-story writing competitions, and her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals. She lives in Ajax, Ontario.