It is the summer of 1933 and young Haven Cattrell, seeking work, finds himself abandoned in the small northern Ontario town of Davisville. At an exclusive summer camp for girls he befriends Wetherby Moss and his son Jude who introduce him to the joys and heartaches of jazz. Jazz had taken a hard blow, during the first-half of the 1930s. Although there was still work to be had for some in places like New York, musicians in other parts of the country were barely existing on what venues remained. Wetherby and Jude had come from that reality and, as Haven mastered the jazz trumpet, he learns the horrifying truth about why Wetherby, his mentor, had to flee his home in Detroit and find sanctuary with his son among the unique subculture of rural Northern Ontario. But Haven’s story is bigger than his love of jazz. It is the story of the racism that haunted black jazz musicians in the 30s, and how that racism found its way to Davisville. It is the story of how love can blind young men and save them from themselves, and it is the story of how important it is to dream when the chaos and hard times around you want to drag you down.
The Spoon Asylum
ISBN: 9781771871600 Categories: Young Adult Fiction, Canada, Historical, Literary, Prejudice & Racism, Social Themes
About the Author
Caroline Misner’s work has appeared in numerous publications in the US, Canada, India, and the UK. She has been nominated for the prestigious McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for the short story “Strange Fruit;” in 2011 another short story and a poem were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands of Northern Ontario where she continues to draw inspiration for her work. She is the author of the young adult fantasy series, The Daughters of Eldox.