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February

February

In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine’s night storm. In the early hours of the next morning, all 84 men aboard died.

Helen O’Mara is one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns. Her story starts years after the Ranger disaster, but she is compelled to travel back to the ‘February’ that persists in her mind, and to that moment in 1982 when, expecting a fourth child, she received the call informing her that Cal was lost at sea.

A quarter of a century on, late one winter’s night, Helen is woken by another phone call. It is her wayward son John, in another time zone, on his way home. He has made a girl pregnant and he wants Helen to decide what he should do. As John grapples with what it might mean to be a father, Helen realises that she must shake off her decades of mourning in order to help.

With grace and precision, and a shocking ability to render the precise details of her characters’ physical and emotional worlds, Lisa Moore reveals the whole story to us. And just as, finally, we watch the oil rig go down, we see Helen emerging from her grief to greet a new life.

About the Author

Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore is the author of Alligator, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Canada and the Caribbean, a finalist for the Giller Prize and longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Her story collection, Open, was also a finalist for the Giller. Both books were bestsellers in Canada.

Lisa Moore lives with her husband and two children in St John’s, Newfoundland.