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Theresa Shea’s widely-celebrated debut novel, The Unfinished Child, was published in 2013. It sold over 12,000 copies, was a popular book club selection, and was nominated for several awards. The Shade Tree, winner of the 2020 Guernica Prize for best novel manuscript, is her much-anticipated follow-up. 

What readers said about The Unfinished Child . . .

"An insightfully sensitive presentation of the difficult, impossible, heart breaking and sometimes rewarding challenges of what most soon-to-be parents never allow themselves to consider"
"This was a book I could not put down. The story is so emotional and the characters are believable and sympathetic."
"This is a superb book. Touched the heart strings, makes you think about relationships, choices in life, what could have been & what will be. I read it in 2 days as couldn't put it down. So pleased that this book has been written."
"As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, this was an emotional story to read...but I couldn't put it down. A difficult picture of the harsh realities for people with disabilities who were institutionalized (not so long ago)... and an accurate picture of today's world view of Down syndrome and the ethics behind prenatal testing. A must read."
"Wow. I loved this book. Could not get anything else done until I finished the book."
"This was a very very good read!! It is a book that will move you. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I wanted to get into the book and talk to the characters involved me to that point. It raises moral issues in their raw state. This should be on Oprah's list."
The Shade Tree Book Cover

“In its account of almost half a century in the lives of two white southern sisters and of the African Americans whose experiences are inextricable from theirs, The Shade Tree is brutally personal, heartbreakingly political – and remarkably written. Theresa Shea has combined boldness and subtlety with swaths of compassion to come up with a novel that’s both complicated and ferociously clear.”

                                                                                                                                Joan Barfoot

“In her nuanced portrait of families riven by race and sex, Theresa Shea offers a searing indictment of Jim Crow’s corrosive influence that, if unleashed and unquestioned, can make monsters of us all. Beautifully and unflinchingly written, this is a novel for our times.”

                                                                                                                               Terry Gamble

To be published in December, 2021! Theresa’s Shea’s latest novel, The Shade Tree, is now available for pre-order.

“Every once in a while a book comes along that impacts me on an extraordinary level, and I want to encourage everyone I know to read it, and I want to talk about it, because it makes me think and feel so deeply. The Unfinished Child is one such book.”

The 49th Parallel


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea

The Unfinished Child

by Theresa Shea

Giveaway ends September 30, 2021.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


01 December 2021

The Shade Tree Release Date

All day

The long-awaited second novel by Canadian author Theresa Shea is due to land at a book-seller near you on December 1, 2021.


The Shade Tree wins 2020 Guernica Prize

The Shade Tree has been selected as this year’s Guernica Prize Winner. The Guerica Prize jury described The Shade Tree as “an emotional, complex work that presents difficult, important questions at a high
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