Harbour View

Harbour View by Binnie BrennanA novella by Binnie Brennan; Quattro Books, publisher

~ Longlisted for a 2010 ReLit Award

~ Shortlisted for a 2010 Atlantic Book Award

(The Margaret and John Savage First Book Award)

~ Co-winner of the 2009 Ken Klonsky Novella Prize

Harbour View weaves together the stories of the residents and staff in a nursing home overlooking Halifax Harbour. Memories drawn from the rich and diverse pasts of six main characters and their families infuse a bittersweet present. Threaded with music and united by themes of dislocation, family legend, and longing, Harbour View offers moving glimpses into the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.


“Reading it brought to mind Hagar Shipley (in fact one of the residents would only choose The Diviners from the reading trolley…)”

~ The Halifax Reader

“Harbour View is Binnie Brennan’s lovely and amusing story of a Halifax nursing home. Characters – the residents and workers of the home – bounce off each other, their stories revealed as we briefly see and hear the world through each of them. There’s warmth to the wit. Here are Buddy’s thoughts on assorted nursing home staff:

Sam speaks softly, unlike Muriel and the others who are trained to speak so that the deaf may hear them. Sam’s quiet is a relief, like the silence when an aircraft cuts out: you don’t really notice the racket until it’s over.”

~ Andrew Saikali, The Millions

“Binnie Brennan’s writing is sensational, and the dialogue down-to-earth… She captures the essence of what’s in the hearts and minds of certain residents and staff in a nursing home overlooking Halifax Harbour.”

~ Anne-Marie Hood, Atlantic Books Today

Advance Reviews:

“This novella starts with a single, clear voice and grows in complexity with the addition of several more distinct characters until it achieves fine harmony and resonance. By the end of this short work, we have a choir depicting a broad range of human experience.”

~ Antanas Sileika, author of Woman in Bronze

“Brennan’s writing is symphonic in nature and scope, her characters so fully human you may think you hear them whisper in your ear. Here is prose filled with surprising microscopic observation; sometimes funny, other times poignant, these details are heart-stopping in their truth and beauty. Structurally brilliant, Brennan’s layered, empathetic storytelling underscores the heart of this novella – we are given not just a view, but a vision of interconnectedness. Harbour View is filled with moments of grace.”

~ Sheree Fitch, author of Kiss the Joy as it Flies

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