Tower is Frances Boyle’s modern-day retelling of the tale of Rapunzel. Set in the Gulf Islands off the west coast of Canada, it begins in the idyllic 1970s and unfolds over decades and generations to the present-day.
The temz review literary journal called it "honest, insightful, and beautifully written, with the kind of tight execution to which many novellas aspire, but which few achieve", and the Ottawa Review of Books called Frances "a writer to reckon with".
The night the Mounties came, my sleep had already been disturbed by a small but insistent wail coming from the garden below my bedroom window.
There was a baby in my cabbage patch.
And so begins the tale of Arlys, who grows vegetables and roses, and Chicory, the baby she adopts and nurtures in a farmhouse on a small coastal island. Can she keep Chicory safe forever or will the girl eventually fall in love with a damaged prince, will the carefully constructed edifice of motherhood and care survive or collapse, taking the roses down with it? Is there a happy ending for Chicory, for Torque, the edgy street artist who makes dark and beautiful murals in chalk, only to see them wash away in rain? Tower is a modern fable, an intricate tapestry of longing and danger, its pattern shifting over time and place, the tendrils ready to wrap us into its story.
“Frances Boyle has the clear eye of a poet, along with a discerning ear for dialogue and a fine sense of story-telling. Combining these writerly qualities with careful understanding and compassion for her characters, she brings them vividly to life in this moving rendition of an old tale. Brilliant!” - Isabel Huggan
ISBN 978-0-9780054-6-7 (paperback)
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Frances Boyle is the author of one previous book, the poetry collection Light-carved Passages, as well as a chapbook, Portal Stones, which won the Tree Reading Series chapbook contest. Her writing has also received the Diana Brebner Prize and awards in The Great Canadian Literary Hunt. She has published work in literary magazines throughout Canada and in the United States as well as in anthologies with themes as varied as the films of Alfred Hitchcock and form poetry. Raised on the Canadian prairies, Frances lived on the West Coast for 12 years and now makes her home in Ottawa with her partner, Tim Stanley; they have two grown daughters and a large standard poodle who believes he is a lap dog.