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Catherine, an archivist, has spent decades committed to conserving the pasts of others, only to find her own resurfacing on the eve of her retirement. Carefully, she mines the failing memories of her aging mother to revive a mysterious Uncle and relive the tragic downfall of her brother. Catherine remembers, and in the process, discovers darker family secrets, long silenced, and their devastating aftermath. Spanning decades between rural Alberta and Winnipeg, All That Belongs is an elegant examination of our own ephemeral histories, the consequences of religious fanaticism, and the startling familial ties—and shame—that bind us.
Shortlisted: Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
Catherine, the narrator in All That Belongs, is an archivist who, curiously, has waited until retirement to explore her own genealogy in search of answers to questions that have haunted her since childhood. Dora Dueck weaves an eccentric tapestry of present and past from the uncomfortably scratchy fabric of family secrets and lies. Her characters are complex: loving, vulnerable, ashamed, frightened, always drawn with compassion, but even in sorrow and grief never descending to the sentimental. In each of our lives there are those who remain puzzles. Dora Dueck offers insight that goes far beyond archives.
-Betty Jane Hegerat author of The Boy
After a stranger playfully suggests that she might have “a little embarrassment” in her family tree, retiring archivist Catherine Riediger embarks on an initially reluctant journey into her family’s history. The result is a gentle but compelling meditation on love, aging, the nature of memory and the need to acknowledge and forgive the pain of the past.
—K.D. Miller, author of Late Breaking
All That Belongs is a lyrical, keenly-observed study of the strange and difficult beauties of family life. Dueck's writing captures the crackle and hiss of submerged memories and mysterious loyalties. This is a moving story, flavoured with delicacy and integrity.
-Sue Sorensen, author of A Large Harmonium
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