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The Family Code

The Family Code

By Wayne Ng

Every family has rituals and routines holding them together. But sometimes they are the very things that tear them apart. The Family Code is a gritty family drama featuring the troubled life of Hannah Belenko, a young single mother dogged by the brutality of past traumas and a code of silence that she must crack in order to be free—or else lose everything.

Hannah was raised by this code and rules her own family by it. When she loses her daughter to the state and her boyfriend threatens her, she flees from Ottawa to Halifax with her remaining son, six-year-old Axel. While she bulldozes her way through everything and schemes to protect him, Axel flounders in the chaos. He begins to doubt his mother and her dream of a way out. With her life crashing down, Hannah is driven by desperation to survive yet hangs on to elusive hope.

With unvarnished and high-voltage prose, The Family Code unabashedly reveals the power and perils of parenting, but also the longing and vulnerability of children.


(Essential Prose)


316 pages |

Regular price $21.95 USD
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The Family Code is a gritty and unflinching look at the devastating effects of intergenerational trauma. Wayne Ng has created vulnerable, damaged, and compelling characters that will resonate with me for a long time. Heartbreaking but also hopeful, this book put me through the wringer.

Intricate plotting and sizzling dialogue show an imaginative master at worknarrating in dual points of view with authentic voices, sharp wit and deep sympathy. 

Building on his years of social work, Ng has written a searing portrait of a family in crisis drowning in the complexities of love and unresolved pain.

Amy Tector, author of Speak for the Dead

Ng’s characterization is beautiful and utterly convincing. He writes with the perfect balance of grit and beauty, compassion and stark reality, always aware of his character’s motivations.

Danila Botha, author of Things that Cause Inappropriate Happiness, and For All the Men

With the immediacy of a bruised throat, Wayne Ng’s compelling new novel The Family Code confronts us with an unsympathetic character with whom we sympathize, the baffled son she struggles to care for, and the tenacity of their hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances. 

K.R. Wilson, author of Call Me Stan

An unexpectedly riveting, important read that I could not put down. Highly recommended.

Mardi Michels, Eat Live Travel Write

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About the author

Wayne Ng was born in downtown Toronto to Chinese immigrants who fed him a steady diet of bitter melons and kung fu movies. Ng works as a school social worker in Ottawa but lives to write, travel, eat and play, preferably all at the same time. He is an award-winning author and traveler who continues to push his boundaries from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Author of The Family Code, Letters From Johnny, and Finding The Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu. Connect with him at