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Where Lives Take Root

by Christina Kilbourne


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Where Lives Take Root
A Novel About the Search for Identity and Belonging

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.

"Kilbourne is a talented writer, with a facility for language and an intriguing story."
—Quill & Quire
"Kilbourne's deceptively simple prose employs shifts of memory and point of view, place and time, to build a narrative structure that supports a gentle, sweetly moving climax. [The] story weaves disparate voices into a convincing and increasingly seductive narrative whole."
—The Globe and Mail
"A beautiful coming-of-age novel, rich with theme and prose. Kilbourne s prose is a joy to read."
—The Hamilton Spectator



Christina Kilbourne was born in Southwestern, Ontario, but spent her elementary and high school years in Muskoka, a resort area two hours north of Toronto.

She graduated with an Honours BA in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario and her Masters degree in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Windsor, Ontario.

Upon graduating Christina Kilbourne travelled across Africa, Mexico, Central and South America and has lived two years in New Zealand, her husband’s home country.

She has worked in various jobs writing and designing newsletters, brochures, handbooks reports and websites for such organizations as CIBC, the Auckland University of Technology, the Regional Municipality of York, and most recently, Conservation Ontario.

Christina Kilbourne currently lives with her husband, two children and various four-legged creatures near Mount Albert, Ontario.


Publisher: BookLand Press, 2007
Category: Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-9780838-9-2
Price: $25.95 CDN/USA paperback
Format: 253 pages 5.5 x 8.5 in
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