Kit's Law

Kit's Law

Donna Morrissey / Sep 21, 2019

Kit s Law In this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields we find all the old fashioned virtues a vivid sense of place an intricate and suspense

  • Title: Kit's Law
  • Author: Donna Morrissey
  • ISBN: 9780618109272
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields, we find all the old fashioned virtues a vivid sense of place, an intricate and suspenseful plot, and a feisty heroine whom we can t help rooting for on every page Margot Livesey Kit Pitman is fourteen and lives in a ramshackle cottage on the outer banks ofIn this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields, we find all the old fashioned virtues a vivid sense of place, an intricate and suspenseful plot, and a feisty heroine whom we can t help rooting for on every page Margot Livesey Kit Pitman is fourteen and lives in a ramshackle cottage on the outer banks of Newfoundland, where isolation is all she knows The only visitors are fogbound fishermen and an occasional young man brought ashore to keep the bloodlines clean But Kit s isolation is compounded by the mystery that surrounds her family and her illegitimate birth Her mother, Josie, is mentally retarded and often runs wild among the clapboard houses that dot the shore Meanwhile, her grandmother Lizzie staunchly guards them both from the disapproving glances pious townsfolk cast their way But when Lizzie dies suddenly, Kit and her childlike mother are left vulnerable to life s harsh realities and to unexpected dangers that repeatedly threaten to break them apart A wrenching story ensues, as Morrissey depicts with exceptional grace the way the lines between mother and daughter in this unlikely relationship, although blurred, are deeply felt KIT S LAW is a novel of extraordinary, almost mythical power and marks the debut of an enormous new talent.

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      Published :2018-09-26T21:24:02+00:00

    About "Donna Morrissey"

      • Donna Morrissey

        Donna Morrissey has written six nationally bestselling novels She has received awards in Canada, the U.S and England Her novel Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and she was nominated for a Gemini for best writing for the film Clothesline Patch Her fiction has been translated into several different languages Born and raised in Newfoundland, she now lives in Halifax She recently wrote a children s book, Cross Katie Kross, illustrated by her daughter, Bridget Morrissey grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland Labrador and now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


    1. Donna Morrissey's first novel is just breathtaking. The writing is so good, the storyline is mesmerizing and the action rarely lets go. Morrissey has a talent for developing fully rounded characters and her descriptions bring the small Newfoundland coastal town to life. I was a bit nervous about reading this one as the blurbs on the cover made it sound so grim and disturbing, but I found that although Kit lives a tough life, and things rarely work out for her, she does have allies and people who [...]

    2. A wonderful first novel that gives us the savour of small town life with the generosity, hypocrisy, callous gossip, and cohesion that such a small town provides. There are funny, happy, sad, and horrible moments in the novel, but overarching it all is the incredible kindness that can be found in a small town.

    3. A well-written story of courage and redemption in the face of cruel fate. Kit comes into her own throughout the novel and overcomes overwhelming odds.

    4. 3.75Well, it is as I said, this book was one giant soap opera.Cast of CharactersKit: A young teenager living in the 50's with her Grandmother (Lizzy) and mentally disabled mother (Josie). Isolated from the rest of the village due to her mother and under constant fear that she will be taken away from her family and placed in an orphanage, Kit maintains a quiet mouse-like persona. Taking whatever people throw at her in silence. She goes through life essentially as a ghost.Lizzy: An old lady with m [...]

    5. Kit’s Law by Donna Morrissey is a very moving novel. It is both heart wrenching and gut wrenching. And be forewarned that while there are light moments and joy throughout, the plot includes a lot of sadness and describes a great deal of pain and suffering caused by the selfish and uncaring acts of a few.Morrissey shows us the good and bad in small seaport communities - the shunning and ostracizing, the bullying and making fun of - actions seen by children in all communities, big or small. In t [...]

    6. A real page-turner, this is a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl living in a small Newfoundland outport community in the 1950s with her indomitable grandmother and her developmentally delayed mother. When her grandmother dies, Kit is determined to continue to live alone with her mother, who is looked down on by many community members as the town tramp. The major plot twist wasn't a big surprise, and the characters are very broadly drawn, but it was a very engaging read that conveyed a sens [...]

    7. I so enjoyed the book that I was rather sad when it ended. I love stories that take me to another time and place where I get a glimpse of lives so different from my own. That being said, I had pretty well figured out the plot early so the big reveal was no surprise. What I did like was how the situation was eventually resolved. I loved the lyrical language and the descriptions of Newfoundland.

    8. I started off enjoying this book a lot. It was a breeze to get through, though I felt like 1950's Newfoundland sounded a little bit like Little House on the Prairie, so maybe the newfies are a bit behind on the times. I would like to have heard more about Josie's story, as it was her struggle that interested me more than Kit's did. The characters are simple and a little bit cliche, but it felt like a getaway story depsite the bleak outcomes of mcuh of it. This was the first two thirds of the boo [...]

    9. While it's been some time since I read this book and I have forgotten many plot details, the novel has stayed with me. The characters were very strong, the story inexorably draws toward a kind of doom and the overall tragedy of the story haunts me still. If you expect lightness and joy, this isn't for you but if you can get dirty with some raw emotions, then perhaps you'll enjoy it too. I certainly did.

    10. Extraordinary book--the plot's twists and turns, the sentences, Newfie vernacular, character development, and piercings of the heart. It was all there for me. I'm in awe of such talented writing.

    11. My Review: The fact that this book is set in a remote Newfoundland village in the 1950's caught my attention since I'm always on the lookout for new (or at least 'new to me') Canadian authors. I found Morrissey's writing to be very engaging and lyrical as she vividly describes Newfoundland and its culture, unique dialect and small coastal town feel.But it was an interesting premise regarding Kit's living situation and that kept me reading. Kit, Josie and Grandma Lizzie's characters were well tho [...]

    12. ayearofbooksblog/2017/09/Desolate, devastating and resilient are words that describe both the struggling characters and the rough terrain of Newfoundland of Kit’s Law. This strong writing remains with the reader long after the book is closed with a reader puzzling how other members of the small town could treat a family so poorly. I have to admit that the first couple of chapters were a bit slow but once I got into the story, it was hard to put the book down!The novel is the story of Kit, a yo [...]

    13. What a lovely piece of writing. This novel grabs you and doesn't let you go. Set in a Newfoundland outport in the '50s, it's the story of Kit, a young teenager at the beginning of the story. She lives with her grandmother and mother, who is mentally disabled. Kit doesn't know who her father is.The novel is full of interesting characters, some who support Kit and many who hate her. Like every small town, some have more knowledge about Kit's situation than others, and many bully her and her family [...]

    14. One of the best books I've read by a contemporary Canadian Author, I put up a review of this book on , and got an e-mail from her!When she visited Ottawa to do a book reading, she stopped by the store I worked for at the time and signed my copy and personalized it, so this one is only available for loaning to locals who will send it back thereafter.This is a great story set in East-Coast Canada, and has one young girl struggling to survive against some nasty family secrets, taking care of a deve [...]

    15. Not surprising that Morrissey won the award for best first novel. Although somewhat slow opening, about a quarter of the way in, it picks up, as Morrissey introduces the characters, their flaws and strengths, and the crux of the book, Kit's relationships with Sid and her mother. Especially beautiful are the scenes evoked against the unique, isolated, rugged, always beautiful, sometimes terrifying Newfoundland outpost where Kit resides. The story and Kit will remain with you long after you close [...]

    16. Bit of a slow start, not sure if me or the book. Great character development. As an ex-Maritimer, had always enjoyed "Newfie" wit and personality. This took me back in time. Addressed many of the social issues associated w/early Newfoundland, as well as developing a great plot. Human spirit can triumph. Enjoyed thoroughly. A memorable book for me.

    17. I really love the way that Donna writes just like the characters speak. You can hear the Maritime accents as you read the rich, expressive dialogue. This is definately a Canadian Classic, and I could see High School English classes studying it. It would be one of those books you are forced to read, but fall in love with. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

    18. The words poetic justice would describe this twists and turns in this book rather well. I won't give away the plot, but suffice it to say, those who point the finger often find three fingers back at them. I only wish real life would turn out this way more often.

    19. Disturbing. Interesting look at a claustrophobic community, with well thought-out characters. Her imagery is spectacular, but if you don't like realistic descriptions of vomit (who doesn't, really) you should skip the flu scenes

    20. excellent, humorous and touching book. absorbing story, left me thinking about the curves life throws. like a boomerang--do they come back to haunt you, or can you move beyond?

    21. Kit's Law timeless themes and Newfoundland setting make it a very interesting read, and although sometimes I found the characters annoying, it was still a book I really enjoyed reading.

    22. (view spoiler)[I did not love this book as I expected. Yes, I liked Kit, a lot, and there were parts that interested me, that confounded me, that surprised me. But mostly, I was disappointed, cautious, confused, confounded, and at times, surprised at the narrative, the relationships that sprung out of nowhere and were cardboard (the Godfather's Cove family, for instance). And I expected someone else to arrive, and I don't know how long it's been or what has really changed. I'm nervous, unsure, c [...]

    23. What a great book! This is only my second book by this author, having read Downhill Chance a couple of weeks ago. This was the author's first novel. It rang with authenticity and her use of words to paint beautiful pictures of Newfoundland's wilderness was simply amazing. I loved the characters in this book, and my heart broke for Kit so many times, I just wanted to hug her. It was an easier read than Downhill Chance; I'm thinking the author's voice has become more sophisticated with time and I [...]

    24. Kit is a girl growing up in outport Newfoundland living with her grandmother (Nan) and her mother (Josie). Josie is mentally handicapped, with the mental age of a four-year old but physically a strong and healthy adult. No one knows who Kit's father is, but nearly every man in the village is a candidate. Kit and Josie are scorned by many - the teacher, the storekeeper, Kit's classmates, and especially the wickedly hypocritical reverend and his wife, who constantly seek opportunities to force Jos [...]

    25. Enjoyable story about a girl who is born out of wedlock from a mentally handicapped mother. Her grandmother dies and a kind doctor stands up to the town to keep them from being sent away. He and most of the town decide to help out by delivering food and chopping firewood for them. Kit falls in love with the reverend’s son. The reverend and his wife hate Kit. An alchoholic man keeps coming around after sexually abusing her sister and attacks Kit. The reverends son attacks him, and the the older [...]

    26. Donna Morrissey is one of my MOST favourite writers!! As well as a wonderful person person. She came to the YT and went to the local libraries reading and visitinglots of fun.I listened to Kit's Law on CBC a few years ago and that took me to the books. Most I have read.d am on a roll to read them all in order of 'year written'.Thankx Donna Morrissey.One of the many great quotes from Kit's Law"You'll be next, young martle, if you goes puttin' on airs around hereShe might be a tramp, but she's bet [...]

    27. I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn't anything extraordinary. The language in this novel was a little bit difficult to follow at times because it used some Newfoundland slang, but once I got used to it, it was pretty easy to follow. The storyline was a nice coming-of-age story that I enjoyed. One major downfall, however, was the gaps in the storyline. The timeline jumped all over the place, even within paragraphs, which made for confusion at times. Overall, I did enjoy it, and I would recomm [...]

    28. I love me some Newfoundland writers - they can tell a story like no other. And Morrissey is no exception. Hard to believe that this is a first novel, it is so well written. Morrissey's words lift off the page in a lyrical fashion, and her characters and the coast they inhabit, are vibrant and rich. And there's some grit to it too (Morrissey doesn't shy away from violence) which is always welcome because it keeps the story from becoming drippy with sentiment (which sometimes happens with stories [...]

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