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This novel is the story of two women who seem similar but are very different: Cedar Campbell and her mother Kate. Cedar comes into the world a few months after her parents' shotgun wedding and grows up with her father, who is violent and adulterous, and with Kate, who is far too accommodating and forgiving. By the time Cedar is ten years old she's spending most of her time at a neighbour's farm, finding solace in the animals and the straightforward hard work, and after she finishes high school she moves to the farm permanently. Kate is disappointed and jealous, seeing Cedar's choice as a defection or a rebuke, and Cedar is determined to keep moving, to be her own person and to avoid being haunted by past horrors. Through the years, from the time Kate is a young woman to the time Cedar is a middle-aged one, both women must grapple with the powerful and sometimes contradictory forces of love, anger, fear and forgiveness -- each in her own way, in her own life.
Anne Cameron was born in Nanaimo BC. She began writing at an early age, starting with theatre scripts and screenplays. In 1979, her film Dreamspeaker, directed by Claude Jutra, won seven Canadian Film Awards, including best script. After being published as a novel, Dreamspeaker went on to win the Gibson Award for Literature. She has published more than 30 books.