Far From Shore

The Story

Fifteen-year-old Chris Slade lives in a small coastal community on the island of Newfoundland. Faced with instability on many sides, he searches for direction in a family broken apart by unemployment. Even his easy-going, humorous attitude fails to steady him as he stumbles through the summer after tenth grade: he’s failed his year, he can’t find a summer job, and he’s incredibly bored. So the first thing he heads for is trouble – trouble that ends in a confrontation with the law. Work as a counselor at a summer camp offers the challenge of a fresh start, but it is here, amid new responsibilities, that he encounters his toughest test as a young man.


“A finely honed sense of character and an excellent ear for authentic dialogue. . . readers are once more served well by this young Canadian novelist.” School Library Journal

“Kevin Major’s story is a brave look at how a tough period can harden a boy like a nut. Brilliantly, Major tackles the story in five voices. . . [He] has pulled powerfully at unwilling cords, making sense of the most confusing battleground there is.” Maclean’s

“. . . Major understands teenage boys in a way that few writers since J.D. Salinger have done. Chris is a believable teenager, irritating, loveable, clownish, serious. . . In short, he’s very much like boys we all know.” Books Now

“Fifteen, far from innocent, and squeezed emotionally by the disintegration of his family and personal life, Christopher’s withdrawal from his friends and his father’s departure from their small-town home contribute to a manic summer of disjunction, trouble, and ultimately grudging growth. . . [A] truly significant book. A must read.” YOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)


Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award
A Best Book of the Year – School Library Journal

Author’s Comments

The second novel is always tough, especially when the first one has gained considerable attention, as Hold Fast had done. Part of me was wanting to prove I was up to the challenge. Part of me was conscious that, while I needed to be as true to my Newfoundland setting (again the fictitious outport of Marten) as I was in the first book, I also needed to take a new and distinct approach. My reading of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury led me to a the multi-narrative style. The language in Far From Shore is notably tougher than Hold Fast. That first book proved controversial as a novel for young adults because of a few swear words and some minor sexual references. I knew the second was bound to raise more eyebrows. As I have said many times, if my characters are not believable, how can I expect my readers to take seriously what I want to say.

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