Pub date: September 30, 2011
Rights: Canada and US
Seduced by Slim's stories of the privations of a cross-country trek that ended in the violence of an historic riot and tales of Depression-era work camps, Edie MacDonald has followed him from mine to mine, where he finds work and she cares for their son, Belly, in the thin shelter of canvas tents.
Until now. Edie has left Slim behind, passed out in an unheated apartment on the coldest day of the year. Boarding a train with Belly, she travels westward. When the train struggles through a snowstorm and possible calamity, the lens shifts between Belly's perspective and Edie's. Only then does Edie broach a crucial question. Should she leave Belly with his grandmother and strike off on her own? Or should she return to Slim, despite his boozy wanderings?
Vivid and evocative, with rich, convincing characters, The Time We All Went Marching is an episodic novel of storytelling, memory, and imagination — about a time in history rarely explored in fiction. Arley McNeney inhabits her characters with breathtaking conviction, reaching deep into the vulnerable solitude of individual perception while seamlessly holding her readers breathless. Mark her. Watch.
"This novel is a stunning achievement. It has the feel of a Michael Ondaatje novel, the same breathtaking language and image, a dream-like quality to the scenes. I may accidentally forget the title of this book, but I will never forget the name Arley McNeney." — Michelle Berry, The Globe and Mail
"You know when writing is so sharp, so sensual, so vivid that it makes your skin tingle? Arley McNeney is the real thing. Read The Time We Went Marching now, so you can say you heard of McNeney first, back before everyone knew her name." — Angie Abdou
"An amazing work; haunting and imaginative.” — Sheri from Vancouver
“A fantastic piece of Canadian writing! It covers a period of division and strife in Canada, between political parties, labour and management, and the West and the East.” — Darcy from Vancouver