THE EYE OF THE DAY
It begins with an explosion.In a small American town in the 1930s, Amos a quiet giant of a man with a heroic spirit and a troubled past is partly blinded in a locomotive accident. Aubrey, a sheltered boy of eleven whose patrician New England family employs Amos as a handyman, rushes to his aid. As though heralding the twentieth century s worst cataclysm, this disaster inaugurates an epic story of war, friendship, synchronicity, courage and despair. Over the next ten years, in the mountains and forests of North America and on the bloody battlefields of Europe, Amos s and Aubrey s trajectories will converge mysteriously. Although they inhabit very different worlds, these chance meetings deepen their bond each time, and will shape each of their lives in profound ways. The Eye of the Day boasts a sweeping scope and a rich cast of characters that ranges from tragic, dispossessed souls to some of the most illustrious (and notorious) names of the last century. Riveting, action filled scenes alternate with meditative, exquisite evocations of the natural world, and the precarious ties that bind even the unlikeliest people together are rendered with sagacity and warmth
PRAISE FOR THE EYE OF THE DAY:
“The Eye of the Day is a remarkable coming-of-age story, told in a stunning voice that beguiles and enchants on every page. Spanning decades and continents, Dennison Smith’s haunting tale of the young scion of a wealthy New England family and the disfigured handyman whose life he saves explores with great beauty and subtlety the notion of karma—the way a single event can cause a ripple effect that resonates through time. And these karmic repercussions impact not just the characters. As it leads us quietly through the horrors of war, oil extraction, deforestation and industrialization, this novel anticipates the toll this past century has taken on us all.”
– Ruth Ozeki. Booker Prize Shortlisted Author, New York Times bestseller, A Tale for the Time Being, and My Year in Meats.
“The Eye of the Day is a wonderful novel, from one of Canada’s most exciting new authors. Dennison Smith dramatizes the struggles of the individual against rigid ideologies and state-sanctioned violence. From the icy regions of Vermont to the atrocities of World War II, her characters are cast adrift in a mythical terrain, where historical and imaginary events collide. Exceptionally bold, beautiful, original and humane.“
– Joanna Kavenna. Orange Prize Longlisted Author, UK bestseller. The Ice Machine, Inglorious, The Birth of Love, Come to the Edge.
‘A dramatic story told with intelligence and feeling. Dennson Smith is as effective at conveying the powerful forces of history and nature as she is at capturing quiet moments of human intimacy and reflection in settings as diverse as rural Vermont, pre-war Berlin and the battlefields of wartime Italy. A memorable and impressive achievement.’
– Nancy Richler. Author of national bestseller The Imposter Bride, Your Mouth is Lovely, and Throwaway Angels.
‘Dennison Smith’s The Eye of the Day is an intimate, assured portrait of the complex, messy lives of a pair of unlikely friends—a privileged boy on the cusp of manhood and his family’s grotesquely scarred handyman. Young Aubrey’s struggle to rise above his circumstances—a neglectful father, a morally dubious uncle and a dejected, powerless aunt—is completely captivating.’
– Cathy Marie Buchanan. Author of New York Times bestseller The Painted Girls, and The Day the Falls Stood Still.
‘A riveting narrative of survival, self-knowledge and the possibility of second chances.’
– Quill & Quire
‘A hypnotic novel of fierce poetry and vivid, conflicted characters, Dennison Smith’s Eye of the Day is powered by assured storytelling and an extraordinary feel for landscape, particularly those borderlands where Vermont blends imperceptibly into Canada.’
– Jean McNeil. Author of The Ice Lovers, The Interpreter of Silences, and Private View (GG finalist).
‘[Smith] demonstrates the talent to explore all corners of human and natural existence from the perspective of the heart.’
–Winnipeg Free Press
‘It takes a certain sort of view to capture a big historical moment, while never losing sight of the personal, the present and the future. Within an extraordinarily dramatic, fast moving and sweeping narrative, life, in all its passions, prejudices and precariousness overflows from every page. War and peace go hand in hand. Yet, seems to be the message here, above all we will always long to return and long to belong. Dennison Smith is a powerful writer with a deft and humane take on a frail humanity.’
– Henry Sutton. Convenor of the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) at University of East Anglia, England. Previously, Literary Editor of Esquire magazine, and the Books Editor of the Daily Mirror. Author of Get me Out of Here, Thong Nation, First Frost, My Criminal World, and Kids Stuff.