The Berry Pickers

by Amanda Peters


A powerful, devastating novel about family, belonging, and the agony of imagining the life you should have had, sparked by the disappearance of a four-year-old Mi'kmaq girl from the blueberry fields of Maine.

One family’s deepest pain. Another family’s darkest secret.

On a hot day in 1960s Maine, six-year-old Joe watches his little sister Ruthie, sitting on her favourite rock at the edge of the blueberry fields, while their family, Mi’kmaq people from Nova Scotia, pick fruit. That afternoon, Ruthie vanishes without a trace. As the last person to see her, Joe will be forever haunted by grief, guilt, and the agony of imagining how his life could have been.

In an affluent suburb nearby, Norma is growing up as the only child of unhappy parents. She is smart, precocious, and bursting with questions she isn’t allowed to ask – questions about her missing baby photos; questions about her dark skin; questions about the strange, vivid dreams of campfires and warm embraces that return night after night. Norma senses there are things her parents aren’t telling her, but it will take decades to unravel the secrets they have kept buried since she was a little girl.

The Berry Pickers is an exquisitely moving story of unrelenting hope, unwavering love, and the power of family – even in the face of grief and betrayal.

Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320 Pages
Imprint: Fig Tree
Published: Nov 2023
ISBN: 9780241692448

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