“Crummey takes readers into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland. Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland's family founded the town, and he is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate to the mainland, that is effective only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.”
— Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
The scarcely populated town of Sweetland clings to the shore of a remote Canadian island. Its slow decline has finally reached a head, with the mainland government offering each islander a generous resettlement package-- the only stipulation being that everyone must leave. Fierce and enigmatic Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors founded the island, is determined to refuse. As one by one his neighbors relent, he recalls the town's rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters. For fans of The Shipping News, Michael Crummey's prose conjures up the mythical, sublime world of Sweetland's past amid a storm-battered landscape haunted by local lore. In a spare style that belies "huge emotional depth and heart" (Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You), Crummey masterfully weaves together the past and present, creating in Sweetland a spectacular portrait of one man's battle to survive as his world vanishes around him.
Winner of Newfoundland Book Award
Short-listed for the Governor's General Award
Winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Fiction
Finalist for the Winterset Prize