Song Over Quiet Lake

Song Over Quiet Lake


By Sarah Felix Burns


The magical story of friendship between twenty-something Sylvia Hardy and Lydie Jim, an eighty-two year old Tlingit elder from the Yukon.

As students at the University of British Colombia, Sylvia and Lydie met a year ago when the younger woman agreed to be Lydie’s tutor. Lydie’s warmth and irrepressible charm have worked their way past all of Sylvia’s boundaries. Struggling with guilt and loss after a terrible event in her childhood, Sylvia finds in Lydie a compassion and joy for life that is irresistible. Lydie captivates everyone with her stories, believing in the power and healing that come from stories and song. Taken from her family at age twelve and put into a residential school, she has fought to hold on to the values of her culture. After years of loss, she still remembers the song her mother sang to her on the shore of Quiet Lake. Lydie is determined to pass that on to her sons, and now to Sylvia as well. Just a few weeks from graduation, in the midst of a wet Vancouver spring, Sylvia’s pain has come to the surface like worms during a rainstorm. Her relationship with Lydie has never been more important, and will lead to something transformative as she gets to know Lydie’s compelling but wounded son, Jonah. The women’s stories intertwine with the voices of a guilt-ridden elderly priest; Lydie’s damaged sons Mitchell and Jonah; and Miriam, Sylvia’s mother who has never been able to move on from the past.

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About the Author

Sarah Felix Burns has a degree in women's studies and history from the University of British Columbia and a masters degree in social work from the University of Toronto. She was inspired to write Lydie's character after meeting a Tlingit woman from the Yukon while studying at UBC in the 1990s. Sarah's first novel Jackfish, The Vanishing Village was published in late 2007 and won the 2009 Northern Lit Award. Originally from a village outside of Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, Sarah now lives in Colorado but still considers Canada her home.

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Product Information

  • Release: September 1, 2009

  • $18.95 Paperback

  • 296 Pages

  • 5.5 x 8.5

  • Adult Fiction

  • ISBN: 9781897187678


Praise for Song Over Quiet Lake

"Song Over Quiet Lake is a story of profound loss and of the ability of the human heart to find joy and continue to love against overwhelming odds. Burns has given life to a complex cast of characters... it is Lydie’s voice which emerges strong and powerful, pulling the other characters into her sphere as their stories interconnect. She is a survivor, an elder whose wisdom and joy shine from the page." - The Chronicle Herald

"A touching and uplifting tale, Song Over Quiet Lake is a fascinating and fun read, sure to please many a reader." - The Midwest Book Review