The Last Woman
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In the heart of cottage country in Ontario, bordering on a native reservation, Ann and Richard are confronted with the abrupt reappearance after ten years of a local man, Billy. His presence once again in their lives brings back powerful memories and rekindles old conflicts, love, and a betrayal, as each of their past and present stories gradually unfolds during one 1980s summer. Containing all of the elements for which The Island Walkers was celebrated, The Last Woman envelops us in Bemrose’s flawlessly crafted and complete world, where each character is unforgettably alive and real, and the land itself breathes its own story into our hearts.
back of the island where she had cached an old sleeping bag. Her appetite astonished him: it outran his own, or at least her capabilities did. Once, when a boat was idling through the marsh, she insisted they keep going – though they could hear voices, and though his back must have been intermittently visible above the rock. Another day, in her room, hearing her father arrive, they hardly had time to get into their clothes. When they came downstairs, Mr. Scott looked up from a map he had spread
necessary, while he watched the weather and the plants, and waited for the right thought, the right dream, to guide him. It drove Billy wild at first, though in the end he had managed to take something from it – a deeper patience, an alertness that showed him more detail (that twig where a moose had nibbled) than he had known existed. The calm wasn’t permanent though, and it didn’t run all the way through. He might be sitting in a bar, a ball game murmuring from its high corner shelf, while
grinning, half-pleased sheepishness as if they were a kind of compliment. That Billy was clearly in some way still in love with Ann was obvious. Richard accepted this with amused tolerance. He chided Ann affectionately about Billy’s devotion. She laughed his comments off, though she never seriously denied them. It never occurred to him to mistrust her. The three of them were close: that was the point. Richard thought they balanced one another rather well. Passion needed reason, he once quipped,
on the treaty itself that he is from Pine Island. Was not Peter Bluelake a member of your band?” “Yes, but he was not a chief. Not a person of authority. He was only eighteen years old at the time, as our genealogical charts show. He had no permission to sign.” “Well, why would he sign, if he didn’t have permission?” Billy flashed a look at Richard: they had been expecting this. “There was a lot of drinking at the treaty signings. Perhaps someone liquored him up, flattered him, coaxed him to
demanding to know if he was the real McCoy. A few weeks ago, Billy had ridden in the back seat of Hooch’s convertible to his house on the Black Falls highway. Hooch and his mother went inside, leaving him in the car with four baskets of blueberries set out on the hood for sale. He had sat for a long time behind the wheel, pretending to steer, while transports blew past and Hooch’s dogs yapped in their pen behind the house. Finally a pickup had driven up, and a man in a black undershirt had got