When Clara Purdy takes a dreamy turn in her car and ends up plowing into the lives of the Gage family, her low-impact, nine-to-five life in the suburbs is transformed into heady, noisy chaos. Winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and Caribbean region).
In a novel reminiscent of the work of Penelope Lively, Anne Tyler, and Alice Munro, acclaimed author Marina Endicott gives us one of the most profound and most memorable reads of the year.
Absorbed in her own failings, Clara Purdy crashes her life into a sharp left turn, taking the young family in the other car along with her. When bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer, Clara - against all habit and comfort - moves the three children and their terrible grandmother into her own house.
We know what is good, but we don't do it. In Good to a Fault, Clara decides to give it a try, and then has to cope with the consequences: exhaustion, fury, hilarity, and unexpected love. But she must question her own motives. Is she acting out of true goodness, or out of guilt? Most shamefully, has she taken over simply because she wants the baby for her own?
What do we owe in this life, and what do we deserve? This compassionate, funny, and fiercely intelligent novel looks at life and death through grocery-store reading glasses: being good, being at fault, and finding some balance on the precipice.
'Good to a Fault is a wise and searching novel about the fine line between being useful and being used.' - Elizabeth Hay
'Not even the best detective novels can claim the steady, inexorable suspense that Endicott brings to this story. Emotional stakes have never been higher.' - Lynn Coady
'Fierce and wise - a compelling read.' - Annabel Lyon
PRAISE FOR MARINA ENDICOTT
'Endicott's writing is clear as fast-running water and hard as gemstones. She writes with wisdom, grace and conviction. Open Arms demonstrates a lucid, hard-won faith in the ability of people to find love and hold on tight. It's hard to imagine wishing for anything more.' - The Vancouver Sun
'(Endicott's) novel offers lucid, unembellished prose that hides convolutions of deeper meaning. Six girls and women are the linked heroines of this deceptively episodic tale - deceptive because events scattered over thousands of miles and several decades are finally fused into a striking emotional whole, a continuum of fractured, rarely spoken, but persistent and mysterious love.' - The Globe and Mail