Forever BirchwoodRegular price $15.99
The middle-grade debut of star picture-book author and illustrator Danielle Daniel
Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.
But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives—and construction company—seem equally suspect.
As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much—can they even stay together long enough to save this special place?
With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.
“Set in Sudbury, Ontario, Forever Birchwood perfectly captures that timeless pre-teen feeling of wanting to hold on tight to what-is while everything—including yourself—changes at breakneck speed. Young readers will root for Wolf every step of way as she fights for her friendships, her family and her beloved Birchwood forest.” — Anna Humphrey
"Forever Birchwood is a wise, funny book, perfect for the smartest mid-grade reader you know. Four best friend set out to save the environment, one tree at a time. Along the way they encounter mystery, family drama, romantic mix-ups, and a community tragedy that will test their friendship like never before. I loved this book." — Annabel Lyon, author of Encore Edie
“In her middle grade debuut, Danielle Daniel does a superb job of capturing that adolescent dichotomy of feeling both powerless and powerful. How not to love a girl named Wolf who sets out to save her hometown forest from developers?” — Sara O'Leary, author of This is Sadie
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“One of [Mandel’s] finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet.” —The New York Times
“Mandel’s sensational sixth novel offers immense pleasures of puzzle box plotting and high-flying imagination. . . . Masterfully plotted and deeply moving, this visionary novel folds back on itself like a hall of mirrors to explore just what connects us to one another, and how many extraordinary contingencies bring us to each ordinary day of our lives.” —Esquire
From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, a “bold and exciting” (The Economist) and “transcendent” (Wall Street Journal) novel filled with “puncturing emotional truths” (Glamour)
In this captivating tale of imagination and ambition, a seemingly disparate array of people come into contact with a time traveller who must resist the pull to change the past and the future. The cast includes a British exile on the west coast of Canada in the early 1900s; the author of a bestselling novel about a fictional pandemic who embarks on a galaxy-spanning book tour during the outbreak of an actual pandemic; a resident of a moon colony almost 300 years in the future; and a lonely girl who films an old-growth forest and experiences a disruption in the recording. Blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, Emily St. John Mandel’s dazzling story follows these engrossing characters across space and time as their lives ultimately intersect.
Sea of Tranquility is a breathtaking and wondrous examination of the ties that bind us together, by a master storyteller.
“Mandel is an easy read…No matter where or when we touch down we feel at home in worlds much like our own….Which may be the point she’s getting at: we’re all, and will always be, part of a larger human story. In the face of pandemic or other catastrophes, all roads lead to home, whether those roads connect to the far edge of the Western world or the Far Colonies of space.” — Toronto Star
“In Mandel’s stunning latest, people find themselves inhabiting different places and times, from early 20th-century Canada to a 23rd-century moon colony… The novel’s narratives crystallize flawlessly. Brilliantly combining imagery from science fiction and the current pandemic, Mandel grounds her rich metaphysical speculation in small, beautifully observed human moments. By turns playful, tragic, and tender, this should not be missed.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A complicated and mysterious puzzle concerning the nature of reality solved perfectly, all loose ends connected...Even more boldly imagined than Station Eleven. Exciting to read, relevant, and satisfying." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In Sea of Tranquility, Mandel offers one of her finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet, but it is her ability to convincingly inhabit the ordinary, and…project a sustaining acknowledgment of beauty, that sets the novel apart…Born of…empathy and hard-won understanding, beautifully built into language, for all of us who inhabit this ‘green-and-blue world’ and who one day might live well beyond.” — New York Times Magazine
“Sea of Tranquility is broader in scope than any of Mandel’s previous novels, voyaging profligately across lands and centuries…Destabilizing, extraordinary, and blood-boiling…Mandel weds a sharp, ambivalent self-accounting—the type of study that tends to wear the label ‘autofiction’—to a speculative epic. We are shown what two forms can offer each other, and exposed to the interrogating possibilities of science fiction.” — New Yorker
“‘Reality is things as they are,’ Wallace Stevens declared, and who could argue with that? Well, legions of philosophers and any number of novelists, among them Emily St. John Mandel, who, like an ingenious origami artist, seems determined with each new work to add yet another fold to our perception of what is real and one further twist to what we think of as time…Transcendent.” — Wall Street Journal
"Mandel delivers...with an impish blend of wit and dread. The paradoxes of Gaspery’s adventure will be familiar to anyone who’s studied Jean Baudrillard or seen “Back to the Future.” But Mandel has the stylistic elegance and emotional sympathy to make this more than merely an undergraduate bull session. Absent your own time portal to the 1990s, it’s a chance to... wrestle with the mind-blowing possibility that what is may be entirely different from what we see." — Washington Post
"An emotionally devastating novel about human connection: what we are to one another—and what we should be." — Omar El Akkad, author of What Strange Paradise
“I could write a thousand words about Emily St. John Mandel, and this book, and this moment but I won’t dare spoil it. Truly soul-affirming.” — Emma Straub, best-selling author of All Adults Here
"A spiraling, transportive triumph of storytelling—sci-fi with soul." — Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies
"Bold and exciting...Sea of Tranquility is Ms Mandel’s most ambitious novel yet (which is saying something). Inventive and...mind-bending, thanks to her disrupted timelines and fully realised vision of lunar settlements and parallel universes...Her depiction of a future pandemic is recognisable and touching...An illuminating study of survival and, in the words of one character, 'what makes a world real.'" — The Economist
“Fusing sci-fi and great storytelling, this imaginative novel from the author of Station Eleven explores how technology might control our fate if we abandon compassion.” — People
"St. John Mandel’s tender and idiosyncratic novel will undeniably make its own mark on its readers’ imaginations." — The Guardian
"Mandel’s sensational sixth novel offers immense pleasures of puzzle box plotting and high-flying imagination...Masterfully plotted and deeply moving, this visionary novel folds back on itself like a hall of mirrors to explore just what connects us to one another, and how many extraordinary contingencies bring us to each ordinary day of our lives." — Esquire
“Sea Of Tranquility is a poignant, ingeniously constructed and deeply absorbing novel that surveys big questions about the cruel inevitability of time passing, loss, the nature of what we consider reality and, in the end, what finally matters…Mandel is an important novelist of our moment, but doesn't settle for merely replicating our moment. She inhabits it even as she sees beyond it.” — Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
"There is both elegance and tenderness in Mandel’s narrative design...For her, science fiction allows us only enough escape from our context to let us regard it from a softening distance." — The Nation
“Lovely, life-affirming…The project of Sea of Tranquility is about finding meaning and beauty within a world that is constantly dying, about relishing a life that seems always on the cusp of awful and irrevocable change…. Mandel’s prose is shot through with moments of unexpected lyricism…that take you by surprise with their limpid sweetness… Nourishing and needed. The world is always ending, this book says, and there is always beauty to be found in it.” — Vox
"If there is one thing Emily St. John Mandel is going to do, it’s tell a story that’s so good that you’ll keep reading even though the plot includes pandemics and loss and the frightening future of the planet. St John Mandel’s swift storytelling and puncturing emotional truths will leave you wishing it was hundreds of pages longer. She remains an instant-buy writer." — Glamour
“‘When have we ever believed that the world wasn’t ending?’ asks a character in Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility… At a time when that fear is so acutely alive, the question is revelatory. While Mandel focuses on many of the things that terrify us, she also illustrates how hope and humanity are flames that can never be fully extinguished.” — Elle
"With vivid and memorable characters, gorgeously imaginative settings and a plot that will have you gasping aloud, it ping-pongs from an eerie encounter in North America in 1912 to the anxiety of trying to escape a plague-ravaged Earth to moon colonies that feel at once just like home and far from it. This is a triumph of science fiction, so give it a try even if the genre usually leaves you cold." — Good Housekeeping
"Survival, [Mandel] has suggested again and again, may depend more on one’s ability to love than on how well-appointed a fortress one’s bunker is….Mandel almost seems to be looking straight at the reader…asking us, in effect, to look beyond the spectacle of apocalypse to the long sweep of history. The point isn’t the end, because there isn’t a definitive end, just a series of endings. The point is what the people left do next.”
— Oprah Daily
"It is the human story that Mandel excels at portraying...Her writing on nature echoes a brutal solitude, the unease that comes when one ascends a mountain, crosses an expanse of golden plains, or finds themselves floating in space." — Nylah Burton, Shondaland
“Readers of Mandel’s other novels will remember her talent for subtly interweaving disparate narratives, and Sea of Tranquility rises to that area of expertise….Mandel masterfully connects characters’ observations and senses within any given moment….Sea of Tranquility is…for anyone who wants to think about what the end of the world means, and how our lives matter in the face of it.” — Observer-Reporter (Pennsylvania)
"Reading about a pandemic when the real world is still recovering from one would have been heavy going, were it not for the unerring grace of Mandel's prose." — The Straits Times
“A very knowing novel…Powerful…Very enjoyable…A book brimming with a sense of wonder, a sense of humour, and a sense for the weirdness we’ve all been experiencing over the last couple of years.” — Locus
“Each character alone could probably carry a book, and so could the picture — not rosy, but hardly hopeless — that Mandel paints of a future Earth…Generous with flashes of wry humor…Mandel’s style is distinctly her own, and she excels at bringing brightness out of the dark. Readers will leave Sea of Tranquility like Station Eleven before it, feeling hope for humanity.” — Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post Dispatch
"A full-on mind-blower. Inspired by real-world ills and eccentric philosophical theories, Mandel has crafted an enthralling narrative puzzle, plunging her relatable characters into a tale that spans five centuries." — Kevin Canfield, StarTribune
“This slim novel is written in a cool, elegant voice, like that of a singer who never wastes a note and who suggests strong emotion underneath her reserve.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Mandel's writing is incredibly fluid and gripping and never failed to keep me reading." — The Eastern Echo
“A time-travel puzzle…Mandel’s prose is beautiful but unfussy; some chapters are compressed into a few poetic lines. The story moves quickly…In the end, the novel’s interlocking plot resolves beautifully, making for a humane and moving time-travel story, as well as a meditation on loneliness and love.” — BookPage
"Sea of Tranquility is [Mandel's] airship, offering readers a lifeline, and transporting them on a thrilling, wistful and memorable journey into the stars." — Jodé Millman, Booktrib