The obsession with perfection and the dangers it presents is explored in the latest novel by accomplished Minnesota writer Heidi Arneson. The Chalk Canoe
officially launched the evening of May 2 at Open Book in Minneapolis. The Chalk Canoe
is the story of 13-year-old Cat McCloud. Set in the summer of 1973, Cat sits by the lake making outlandish wishes. She sees death around every corner. She concocts myths from the fabric of suburbia. She has a fiery ardor for both boys and girls, and a deep affinity with nature. The trees whisper secrets to her, the birds chirp warnings, and she sees beyond the shiny patina of her neighborhood into the spider-filled cracks of the town’s bloody past.
Cat’s dreaminess, introspection, and imagination are not welcome in her fictional hometown of White Rock. She is an outcast. Afraid to face the coming storms of adulthood alone, Cat shuts herself in and endlessly carves tiny canoes from sticks of chalk. Her carving increases her isolation. She obsesses over carving just one perfect canoe. This is an impossible task. Each stick of chalk breaks in her hands. Only the new girl, Dee-dee Morton, can coax Cat away from her endless carving. Dee-dee has no time for perfection.
A Midwest Book Review just came in for the book. It calls The Chalk Canoe,
"An evocative story that excels in an original first-person observational style." Learn more about the book at InvisibleInkPublishing.com.