Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less. Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He's thinking about how unfair it is that his uncle only cares about work. He's thinking about what he really wants to do: play the violin. These days, he's lucky to snatch the odd bit of practice between chores, playing to the chickens in the henhouse. A new job fixing up the grand old cottage on nearby Pine Island seems at first to be just one more thing to keep Ben away from his violin. After he meets the island's owner, Ben changes his mind. Ruth Chapman is a cultured and wealthy woman from New York who introduces Ben to an unfamiliar, liberating world. After Ben plays violin for Ruth and her admiring friends, it only makes him more desperate to flee. Then, during a stormy night on Lake Muskoka, everything changes.
John Ibbitson is the author of Jeremy's War 1812 and other novels. He is the Washington correspondent for The Globe and Mail. His novel The Landing won the Governor General's Literary Award in 2008. John grew up in the area depicted in the The Landing.
... a well-written coming-of-age novel ...
- Winnipeg Free Press
This novel, like Lake Muskoka, is deep. Character-driven, suspenseful, and historically accurate, it is both realistic and symbolic.
- CM Magazine
The Landing is geared toward young adults, but just as easily belongs to the Canadian coming-of-age genre occupied by the likes of Alice Munro and Margaret Laurence.
- The Globe and Mail