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Bonavere Howl

Bonavere Howl

By Caitlin Galway

It is 1955, and the three Fayette sisters have lived their whole lives in the enchanting French Quarter of New Orleans. Though neglected by their parents, they share a close bond with one another--from afternoons in their small, shared bedroom, to trying to speak with ghosts beneath the sweeping trees in their garden. When the middle sister Constance disappears, the family believes she has run away, as she has done before; it is only the youngest--thirteen-year-old Bonavere (known as Bonnie)--who suspects there is more to it. Met only with grief from her family and resistance from the police, Bonnie embarks on a journey to bring her sister home, venturing through fabled Red Honey Swamp, and the city's vibrant and brutal history. Unravelling the layers of her sister's secret life, Bonnie discovers a pattern of girls found half-mad in the Louisiana swampland, and a connection to the wealthy, notorious Lasalle family. To rescue her sister, she must confront the realities of true violence, and the very nature of insanity.


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


285 pages |

Regular price $19.00 USD
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Who knew there was a Southern Gothic mystery novelist hiding up here in Toronto? Caitlin Galway's novel is splashed with bayou water and laden with New Orleans scenes ... Galway is a dab hand at Southern dialogue, too. This is a writer to watch.

Globe and Mail

In true Southern Gothic tradition, Caitlin Galway manages to both unnerve and enchant, cloaking the reader in the perilous sticky heat of the Bayou. This gorgeously layered tale, the story of two mesmeric sisters – one who disappears, and the brave, audacious Bonnie who goes in search of her – haunted me for days.

Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked

The language of this Southern Gothic mystery is swamp-sticky and poetic. Galway's writing is image-filled to the brim, rife with similes that are striking and evocative in their precision ... Galway's prose plays out as a battle between the mental fogs of grief and exhaustion and the urgent logic needed to solve a puzzle of life-or-death. ... Galway's mystery is not devoid of a lesson that engaging in spiritual practices that are not your own, without due care or knowledge, is not only violent in its colonial implications, but dangerous for those who do so ... an engrossing read, and a strong debut.

Room magazine, issue 42.4

Sisters, folklore, violence, and madness in 1950s New Orleans. Meticulously researched and capriciously imagined, Caitlin Galway has created an entire world for Bonavere and her sisters.

Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls

Caitlin Galway’s Bonavere Howl is Bayou Gothic, filled with beautiful and atmospheric writing.

Alix Hawley, author of All True Not A Lie In It, Giller-longlisted and First Novel Award book


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About the author

Caitlin Galway is an author and freelance editor. Her fiction has been published in Riddle Fence, The Broken Social Scene Story Project, the Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Anthology Series, and by CBC Books. She has won and been shortlisted for numerous contests and has received multiple literary grants. She studied English Literature at Queen's University.