The Bliss House - Dundurn

The Bliss House

Available Aug 29th 2023

$ 24.99


Two young men bringing up a small child in the middle of nowhere. Everything could be fine, but strangers start to meddle.

For near a century the reclusive Bliss clan farmed the same land. Now it’s 1963 and everyone’s gone except teenage Cam, his older cousin Wes, and little Dorie. They buried Gran over a year ago. But Gramp is still with them, wrapped tight as a mummy in an old tarp in the cold room off the kitchen. Life’s better now without the old man’s rants and terrors.

Then the local Children’s Aid drops by to say Dorie needs schooling and proper parents, and it’s clear they can’t hide their secrets any longer. They’re on the road, heading north, with a body in the trunk. Wes knows a place, a cabin deep in the woods…

The Bliss House reinvents the Ontario heartland of Alice Munro. By turns tender and horrific, with shocking twists and black humour reminiscent of the Coen brothers, the story audaciously queers mid-century Ontario rural Gothic.



Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley was a playwright before he took to prose. His first two novels were set mainly in Balkan war zones. The Bliss House breaks the mould, riffing on Jim’s powerful love of rural and wild landscapes. He lives in Toronto and Dufferin County, Ontario.

Book Details

August 2023
5.5x8.5 in
208 pp
August 2023
208 pp