From the author of the Number 1 best-selling The Perfection of the Morning.
"The first night she hardly noticed he was gone, and even though she had expected him back before the moon rose, she slept soundly.” So begins acclaimed novelist and literary nonfiction writer Sharon Butala’s new novel. By the end of the first chapter, Sophie Hippolyte’s husband Pierre will have been gone for three days, and the suspense, as a lone horseman approaches their homesteader cabin in the southwest Saskatchewan of the 1880s, is palpable.
Wild Rose, an epic story of The West, now long gone, charts Sophie’s journey from underloved child in religion-bound rural Quebec, to headstrong young woman to exhausted homesteader to deserted bride and mother to independent businesswoman finding her way in a hostile, if beautiful, landscape. In language that is haunting, elegiac and rich with detail, Butala casts an unblinking eye on a merciless West that has become obscured behind headlines about wheat and oil prices. Sophie’s West – filled with sodbusters and cowboys, fallen women and proper ladies, settlers and Indians – comes vividly alive in the pages of Wild Rose, Butala’s most unforgettable novel.
Sharon Butala is the award-winning author of numerous works of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, and plays. Wild Rose is her first book since her Globe & Mail bestseller The Girl in Saskatoon was published in 2008. Her first book, Country of the Heart, was published in 1984 and was shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Since then, her work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize in the Canadian-Carribean section, as well as for the Governor General’s Award. Sharon has also been the recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, among others. Butala’s work has been published in newspapers, magazines, and literary magazines across Canada, and she has given readings around the world. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Butala was born in an outpost hospital in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she taught English in Saskatchewan and British Columbia and also taught in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She eventually returned to Saskatoon, before moving to Eastend, Saskatchewan, with her husband Peter Butala in 1976. She has lived in Calgary, Alberta since her husband's passing.