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Published on Jul 6, 2012
The story centers on Quoyle, a newspaper pressroom worker from upstate New York whose father emigrated from Newfoundland. Shortly after his parents' suicide, Quoyle's unfaithful and abusive wife Petal leaves town and attempts to sell their two daughters to sex traffickers. Soon thereafter, Petal and her lover are killed in a car accident; the young girl is located by police and returned to Quoyle. Despite his daughters' safe return, Quoyle's life is collapsing, and his paternal aunt, Agnis Hamm, convinces him to return to Newfoundland for a new beginning. They return to their ancestral home on Quoyle's Point. He obtains work as a traffic accident reporter for the Gammy Bird, the local newspaper in Killick-Claw, a small town. The Gammy Bird's editor also asks him to document the shipping news, arrivals and departures from the local port, which soon grows into Quoyle's signature articles on boats of interest in the harbour. Quoyle gradually makes friends within the community, learns about his own troubled family background, and begins a relationship with a local woman, Wavey. Quoyle's growth in confidence and emotional strength, as well as his ability to be comfortable in a loving relationship, become the book's main focus. Quoyle learns deep and disturbing secrets about his ancestors that emerge in strange ways.