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"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
Booker and Scotiabank Giller prizes nominee, and author of Abra, Luck, and Critical Injuries
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
Author of The Water Dancers, Good Family, and The Eulogist
"Theresa Shea’s The Shade Tree reminds me thematically of Lee’s novel. It, too, is set in the south of the States in a similar, though far more expansive, time period; it follows the lives of two young white girls – sisters – coming of age and exploring their positions in the world as white, as women, and as white women. Where the novel differs from Lee’s, though, is that it gives Sliver Lanier, a Black midwife, a voice of her own."
Earthly Abode
"An emotional, complex work that presents difficult, important questions at a high level of craft."
Mesmerizing, engrossing, and brilliantly plotted, this is an achievement that will echo long after the last page is turned.
Fiona Alison
Historical Novel Society


The Shade Tree: A Finalist for the Airdrie Reads Festival

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Alberta Views Magazine: The Shade Tree Review

“Some histories bear revisiting, and the world of the southern States under Jim Crow laws comes sharply into focus in Theresa Shea’s The Shade Tree, recent winner of Canada’s Guernica Literary Prize.
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The Shade Tree: Wins 2022 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

Release Date: June 11, 2022 The Shade Tree is announced as the winner of this year’s George Bugnet Award for Fiction during the 40th Anniversary Gala of the Alberta Literary
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Review: The Unfinished Child

Angelique (Maple Books) There’s nothing as terrifying as being told your newborn “will be sick a good deal and require special medical and nursing care, which cannot be given at
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The Unfinished Child: review by The Bookwheel

In 1947, a young woman named Margaret gave birth to a mongoloid and had her institutionalized. Fast forward to present day and Marie, age, 39, finds out she’s pregnant and
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Publisher’s Weekly Review: The Unfinished Child

The birth and death of Carolyn Harrington, a girl with Down syndrome, are at the heart of this complex and sensitive debut novel set in Edmonton, Alberta. The medical establishment
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CBC Radio Interview with Theresa

On World Down Syndrome Day Portia Clark speaks with Edmonton author Theresa Shea. Her book, The Unfinished Child tells the story of three women faced with difficult moral choices around
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Author Interview with Theresa Shea

Bookbundlz 1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?That’s a hard question, and I think my answer would change daily. However,
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Part Two: The Unfinished Child Interview

Amy Julia BeckerChristian Times As the parent of typically-developing children, what prompted you to write the book? Do you see any parallels between your experience as a mother and the
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Reviewers' Comments:

"Shea paints such a vivid picture that it’s hard not to recoil at what humans are capable of inflicting onto other humans."
The Bookwheel
". . .various strands of the plot come together in a gripping climax, raising compelling questions about moral responsibility in a 21st-century world . . ."
Publisher's Weekly
"The Unfinished Child gave me a lot to think about, which is another way to say I loved it."
Maple Books
"Gripping. Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking. Riveting. Haunting. Unputdownable."
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