And Me Among Them
Finalist for the 2012 Trillium Award!
Winner of the 2012 Alberta Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award!
Ruth grew too fast.
A young girl over seven feet tall, she struggles to conceal the physical and mental symptoms of her rapid growth, to connect with other children, and to appease her parents, Elspeth, an English seamstress who lost her family to the war, and James, a mailman rethinking his devotion to his wife. Not knowing how to help Ruth, Elspeth and James turn inward, away from one another. As their marriage falters, Ruth finds herself increasingly drawn to Suzy, the dangerous girl next door.
Ruth is not precocious, nor a prodigy, but her extraordinary size affords her extraordinary vision: a bird’s-eye perspective that allows her not just to remember but to watch her past play out. Possessing an uncanny ability to intuit the emotional secrets of her family’s past and present, Ruth gently surfaces Elspeth and James’s vulnerabilities, their regrets, and their deepest longings.
“A touching and atmospheric novel.”—Susan Swan
“Deceptively slim, And Me Among Them presents an uncanny world guided by a uniquely heightened perspective. As she grows up (and up, and up), the girl giant Ruth stretches everyone’s consciousness, seeing into, above, and beyond the minds and dreams of her parents. Kristen den Hartog opens so many doors that every meaning is magnified, shifted, and understood anew — a magical, wonderful novel like no other.”—Jury Comments, 25th annual Trillium Book Award
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PRAISE FOR KRISTEN DEN HARTOG’S WATER WINGS:
“Glorious… A heartening study of people who play the hand life has dealt them with surprising good humour and not a little cunning… A novel of considerable delicacy”
“Exuberant… A lively, funny read—sometimes tender, sometimes mordant, often both… den Hartog is the mistress of the insightful non sequitur, and she writes about childhood trauma in the same surreal way it actually presents itself in life… Her writing style is as intricate, as gorgeous—and as reluctant to settle—as the butterflies that are her central metaphor.”
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
“Review,” Prairie Journal 56, 2012.
“Kristen den Hartog’s gentle giant,” The Globe and Mail, May 26, 2011.
“And Me Among Them: Kristen den Hartog’s short novel about a tall girl,” National Post, April 1, 2011.