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Unlit Spaces is Caroline Shepard's eagerly awaited first novel. With her sure literary hand, Shepard brings to life the haunting story of Cailey Donald, a young woman who flees her rural Manitoba home in the wake of lingering childhood trauma. As Cailey matures, she finds herself in a variety of challenging situations, from working as a domestic in a wealthy Winnipeg home, to studying fine arts at a Montreal university. As she begins to establish herself in the Montreal art community, her life is at once inspired and inhibited by the hidden childhood trauma that resurfaces with ever increasing urgency. It is ultimately through her art, and in the company of those closest to her, that Cailey at last allows the paralyzing event to emerge from the shadows. Unlit Spaces is a dramatic and often moving love story that weaves themes of culture and art and social justice through the intersecting lives of a vibrantly entertaining cast of characters. An unpublished version of Unlit Spaces was long-listed for the Robertson Davies Chapters First Novel Award.
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