Purchase Our Animal Hearts
Deep in British Columbia, at the turn of the 20th century, lies Winteridge: a small village perched on an enormous lake known for the monster said to haunt its depths.
Iris Sparks lives on an orchard in Winteridge with her brother, Jacob; her working-class Welsh mother, Llewelyna; and her blue-blooded English father, Noah, a progressive bohemian who has brought his family to Canada for an adventure.
But amid the idyllic Edwardian setting, there are dangers lurking. A blend of Welsh and Indigenous stories of the predatory lake monster take real shape for young Iris.And later, when Llewelyna increasingly succumbs to seizures, Iris unravels the terrible truth behind her mother’s dark faery tales.
As the First World War reaches its height, Iris must contend with the demands of a deteriorating mother and the harsh realities of a toxic love triangle. All the while, Iris’s mind continues to exert its strange and awesome power, and she must find a way to survive at the mercy of otherworldly beasts and the hungry darkness of her own heart.
Called one of the best books of 2018 by Canadian Living
[A] gem. . . . Ambitious. . . . Written with much lyricism, the narrative proves both riveting and moving." —Toronto Star
"Dania Tomlinson blurs the lines between truth and fairy tale in her evocative debut novel" —Canadian Living
"Dania Tomlinson puts into words everything I have intuited about British Columbia: that a sort of magic rules here. Tomlinson blurs the seams between reality and myth, offering a story about stories—the narratives we inherit and the ones we choose to tell. From this novel's spectral beasts to the wild girl at its core, I found Our Animal Hearts totally entrancing."
—Eliza Robertson, author of Demi-Gods
"Our Animal Hearts is a brilliant and exhilarating tour de force. The writing is superb, and Tomlinson is a born storyteller, seamlessly blending local myth and Welsh folklore to weave a novel that never loses sight of the beauty that lurks at the heart of evil."
—Wayne Grady, nationally bestselling author of Emancipation Day and Up From Freedom
"Is malevolence an ancient spirit in a lake or simply a weakness deep in the human heart? Our Animal Hearts is a story steeped in the loneliness of a wilderness town, rich in its characters and their flawed struggles to thrive and to love. An atmospheric and gripping debut." —Helen Simonson, internationally bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War
CBC Magic 8 Q&A: Why Dania Tomlinson thinks writers make the best and worst readers
CBC The Next Chapter: Dania Tomlinson on the nature of myth and legends
Toronto Star: Discover Forgotten Worlds in the Latest Historical Fiction
Georgia Straight Book Feature: Sense of mystery glows in Our Animal Hearts
Canadian Living: The Books We're Reading This Spring
Canadian Living: The Best Books of 2018
Get Lit Podcast with Jamie Tennant
Q&A with novelist Alix Hawley
Canadian Literature: Beasts and Spirits
The Vancouver Sun