Adam’s Peak


Runner-up for the 2008 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

On a stifling August day, six-year-old Clare Fraser and seven-year-old Rudy Vantwest make eye contact from opposite sides of their street. For an instant they are connected, then each turns away Clare to the shelter of the garden sprinkler, Rudy to the excitement of his brother’s impending birth. Twenty-five years later, Clare and Rudy, strangers living continents apart, fixtures of each others memories and imaginations, are connected again. Overturning the guarded, insular lives they both lead, two events one an accident, the other an act of terror transform them both and bind the Vantwest and Fraser families irrevocably.

Adam’s Peak weaves back and forth between a Montreal suburb and a Colombo private school, between a Ceylon tea estate at the end of the Second World War and a small Scottish town in the early 1960s, its characters struggling desperately to come to terms with themselves and with their powerful connections to the people and places they have tried to escape.


Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize


Adam’s Peakwas
a pure joy from beginning to end ... Heather Burt has created a Canadian classic that deserves to be read by those who enjoy a book that not only entertains, but stimulates serious thinking.

What carries Adam's Peak is its fluency in the ways of human isolation and connection. Among a large and diverse cast, each voice and exchange rings true.

This is much more than a cross-cultural love story.

Heather Burt's first novel is an unequivocal success ... Oddly moving because it is a strangely spectacular ordinariness that tips over into the transcendental here.

Canadian Literature 196

About the Author

Heather Burt

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Heather Burt

Heather Burt was born in 1965 and grew up in Montreal and Vancouver. She has an MA from the University of Montreal and has travelled extensively in Asia and Europe. She lives in Vancouver, where she teaches creative writing at Langara College and is working on her second novel.