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Yes, and Back Again

Author: Sandy Bonny
ISBN: 9781771870528 Categories: Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Life, Literary
Publication Date: 1 October, 2015
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"


Historian Tanis and high school teacher Neil just purchased their dream home on Saskatoon’s west side: a fixer-upper with plenty of character and an abundance of history to uncover. The house, however, also comes with a crumbling ruin of a garage tagged with gang symbols, a basement filled with mouse droppings, a mysteriously boarded up attic with suspicious stains marking the floorboards, and apprehensive neighbours who rarely go out after dark. Nevertheless, the optimistic young couple quickly settles in, and when Tanis uncovers a pair of ancient work boots hidden in the attic she welcomes the challenge of finding their owner.


Tanis soon makes contact with Celia Tanner, the now-elderly granddaughter of the home’s original owner. Celia was raised by her spinster aunt Phidelma and has very little knowledge about her Métis family’s heritage, prompting Tanis to offer her services as researcher, uncovering details of Saskatchewan’s post-war Métis urbanization in the process. The Tanner family’s history is revealed through flashbacks to the 1930s, told from the perspectives of both Phidelma and her mother Marguerite, and delves into issues such as the continued invisibility and vulnerability of women and the systematic manifestations of racism that linger in the present.


Meanwhile, as Tanis and Neil struggle to develop a sense of belonging in a neighbourhood marked by race and class divisions, Neil is thrust into the middle of a crisis. Not only is he facing the stress of his first full-time teaching role at an inner city high school, but three weeks into the school year two aboriginal teen girls have gone missing, and Neil is a prime suspect. As Tanis and Neil each uncover the secrets of their own mysteries, they begin to realize the difficulty in remaining objective when the truth is inherently complex.


Yes, and Back Again is a suspenseful and thought-provoking mystery that explores the legacy of the historic marginalization of aboriginal people in Canada as well as the complicity inherent in being part of a silent majority.

About the Author

Sandy Bonny is a writer and visual artist with an academic background in science. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies including Prairie Fire, Grain, and The Danforth Review, and was featured in Coming Attractions 11, Oberon Press’ annual anthology of up-and-coming Canadian fiction writers. Her first collection of short fiction, The Sometimes Lake (Thistledown Press, 2012), was nominated for the 2013 Saskatchewan Book Award for Best First Book. Yes, and Back Again is her first novel. Bonny lives in Saskatoon.

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