On Huron’s Shore


Price: $19.95

Page Count: 270

Publication Date: April 2014

ISBN: 978-1-927335-34-5

Marilyn Gear Pilling brilliantly displayed her competence in describing women in My Nose is a Gherkin Pickle Gone Wrong (1996). Showing them “in all their nakedness … the voice is neither sentimental nor fussy, the prose spare and fresh” (Quill & Quire). She continued her explorations of Canadian women in The Roseate Spoonbill of Happiness (2002), a collection of stories shortlisted for the Upper Canada writing award by Leon Rooke, Greg Gatenby and Sandra Martin: “Pilling has a confident, quirky voice and her stories range in tone from the heartwarming to the humorous. The domestic landscape is familiar, but this book unlocks the strangeness beneath the familiar. In every one of these stories, the unusual and the unexpected give a perspective that enlarges the understanding and leaves the reader wanting more.” Since 2002, Pilling has produced five books of poetry, and now, with On Huron’s Shore, she has returned to fiction with a collection of linked stories about mothers, daughters, and sisters, set in the landscape of the Huron County of the mid-fifties juxtaposed with the Huron County of today. Gear Pilling takes a humourous and sensual look at the female members of one family as it was then, as it is now.    

“Gear Pilling’s art: audacious, outrageous, uproarious—and meaty. Her menagerie of characters provides continuous entertainment, thanks to their author’s gift for creating vivid life. Pilling allows nothing to stand in the way of giving full vent to her powerful creativity.”
—Robert Neilsen, shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

“Tirelessly energetic prose! I found this very enjoyable to read. My interest was maintained on every page... The prose is built not only on sharply realized scenes but on a multitude of unique and memorable details.”
—Jack Hodgins, winner of the G.G.’s award for fiction, among many others, and appointed to the order of Canada in 2010

Part I
i. Tomatoes
ii. Head-doors
iii. Her Mysteries
iv. The Fullness of Time
v. Flies
vi. The Accident
vii on huron’s shore
vii. Blossom
viii. Beyond Aunt Bea’s Garden

Part II
ix. Europe on Five Dollars a Day
x. Her Mark on Men
xi. The Discovery of the New World
xii. The Sun is Out, Albeit Cruel

Part III
xiii. On Huron’s Shore
xiv. Our Mother and Dorothy Goodman
xv. Beneath the Mock Orange

Part IV
xvi. Incestuous Ossuary
xvii. Pilgrimage
xviii. Puke Birds
xix. The Dinner Party
xx. This is History
xxi. The Love Bites of Twenty-three Rogue Monkeys
xxii. The Play of the Gods
xxiii. The Mothers, the Daughters, the Sisters, the Brother
xxiv. The Festival We Call Christmas


Marilyn Gear Pilling lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and is the author of
eight books of poetry and short fiction