Kenneth J. Harvey is the internationally bestselling author of Blackstrap Hawco, Inside, and The Town That Forgot How to Breathe. He has won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the Winterset Award, and Italy's Libro Del Mare. He lives in an outport in Newfoundland.
Reinventing the Rose
As a fatherless girl with a mother who persistently encouraged her daughter’s artistic temperament, Anna Wells is highly sensitive to the life developing in her when she discovers she is pregnant. Anna’s gynecologist boyfriend, Kevin, considers the time just not right to have children, so Anna moves to a 100-year-old house in Bareneed, an abandoned cove in Newfoundland, where she takes comfort in renovating the interior of her new home and working on a series of paintings detailing roses.
Paralleling Anna’s own journey is a minutely detailed, day-by-day development of the embryo. All goes well until a car arrives delivering a court summons. Kevin has filed a statement of claim seeking the termination of the embryo as "return of property."
One night, while still in Bareneed and upset over the impending legal action, Anna discovers an abandoned little girl almost frozen to death in her front yard. Mysterious circumstances continue to surround the children in Bareneed as pro-choice and pro-life factions marshal their forces.
If there isn't a category of literature known as Maritime Postmodern, Kenneth J. Harvey continues to make a case that there should be, with himself as its leading proponent. Like 2006's Inside, about a wrongly convicted man attempting to reintegrate into society, Reinventing the Rose deftly explores themes of alienation and lays bare the interior life of its protagonist.
Harvey is a careful painter himself, constructing Anna with care and complexity. Particularly beautiful are the books initial chapters detailing her private pain.
Reinventing the Rose delivers timely counterpunches against the economic and cultural policies of every political regime that uses the language of stable government and family values to overturn women's rights.
Profoundly entertaining...a pulpy page-turner.
Part psychological thriller, part political conflict pro-life and pro-choice activists go head to head Reinventing The Rose is a potent page-turner.
Reinventing the Rose rejects the simple clichés of consumer-culture pregnancy mags in favour of something else ... with elements so unsettling they raise the hair on my neck.
In Reinventing the Rose, Kenneth J. Harvey has crafted a startling and unique story of a woman whose body and the pregnancy that lies within it are no longer her own. Harvey's ability to create suspense through intimate details, unanswered questions and presences, is remarkable and lasting. By throwing splashes of color into a black and white landscape, Harvey knows how to manipulate a single, simple moment and give it the weight of the world.
Newfoundland-born-and-bred-in-the-bone Kenneth J. Harvey, Back-of-Beyonder Wonder, master of several literary forms as well as artistic genres including poetry, commentaria, criticism, filmmaking and, most notably, fiction, especially the rapturously received just-published Reinventing the Rose...
Horrific, offensive and greatly entertaining.
The newest work from acclaimed Newfoundland author Kenneth J. Harvey, Reinventing the Rose has already reached international bestseller status with a gripping and at times dark story sure to pull at a wide range of emotions.
This book had me gripped right away, with that a signature narrative hook of his I was reading the thing, all alone, outside a neighbourless cabin, in the pitch black night, and like a little girl, ran inside and turned on all the lights. He's got a way of mastering point of view that puts his story under your skin and your nerves on edge.
This is a book that hardly ever rests. Every turn reveals something fantastical, phantasmagoric and that word again audacious.