Advocate is a provocative novel about a forgotten, divisive time.
In the early 1980s, Thomas McNeil returns to the small town of Advocate, Nova Scotia. He has been away for more than thirteen years – the entire lifetime of his nephew, Jacob, and has come back without explanation. From the volume of his luggage and his gaunt frame, Tommy's sisters are quick to realize that all is not well.
The town doctor diagnoses meningitis, but his new patient proves resistant to treatment. And then rumors start to spread about an unknown virus, and the tiny community is quick to turn on one of its own. Tommy's mother Millicent, mired in tradition and the burden of respectability, refuses to acknowledge his condition, even as hysteria spreads and her daughters lose their jobs. The town is a microcosm for society's response to an international epidemic, and we witness in the treatment of Tommy the evils brought on by fear and ignorance, and the strength and dignity of those who endure.
Many years later, when Jacob reluctantly grants his grandmother's dying request, he sees an opportunity to resurrect the past, to force a dialogue about a disease and the world's reaction to it.
DARREN GREER's most recent novel, Just Beneath My Skin, won the prestigious Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, was the 2015 selection for One Book Nova Scotia, and was nominated for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. Greer is also the author of Tyler's Cape and Still Life with June, which was a top ten pick of the year in Now magazine. http://www.darrenshawngreer.com/
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