Where Lives Take Root cover

Young Adult/Adult Fiction

Where Lives Take Root is a re-write of Kilbourne’s award-winning debut novel, Day of the Dog-tooth Violets. With two new chapters, fresh dialogue and critically revised scenes, this novel is guaranteed to entertain. It is aimed at young adults, but will also be enjoyed by readers of adult literary fiction.

Spanning two continents, one war and several generations, Where Lives Take Root follows the stories of three unforgettable characters as their lives become forever linked and grounded in Muskoka. First there is Nan, a grown woman and mother of two young boys who suddenly discovers her family secret: that her deceased mother was half Chippewa. Then there is Gunner, a First Nations classmate from Nan's small rural community and the only reference point Nan has to her new identity. Finally, there is Hamar, Gunner's father, a displaced Norwegian who escaped his homeland during the German occupation and found himself at the end of the war, still tied to the Norwegian airforce training camp in Muskoka.

Weaving together different decades and narrative points of view, Where Lives Take Root is about the universal search for identity and belonging. Suitable for both adults and young adults, this story examines the meaning of blood and ancestry and the inevitable conclusion that what really matters is not about race or religion, but about finding a place and purpose in the world.

Praise for Where Lives Take Root

  • The subtlety and realistic nuances in Kilbourne's artful telling of this voyage of discovery – a reverse coming of age novel – include shifts of memory and point of view, as well as place and time, which cumulatively evoke what those of us who live in them know to be "that small town feeling."
    Muskoka Books
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Awards and Recognitions

  • Included in the Association of Book Publishers of BC Aboriginal Catalogue
  • Included in the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario First Nations Catalogue of Books 2009 and On-line First Nations Catalogue of Books