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Touch: A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"A sublime haunting, a ripping yarn, and a killer debut."—J. Robert Lennon
In Sawgamet, a north woods boomtown gone bust, the cold of winter breaks the glass of the schoolhouse thermometer, and the dangers of working in the cuts are overshadowed by the mysteries and magic lurking in the woods. Stephen, a pastor, is at home on the eve of his mother's funeral, thirty years after the mythic summer his grandfather returned to the town in search of his beloved but long-dead wife. And like his grandfather, Stephen is forced to confront the losses of his past.
Touch introduces you to a world where monsters and witches oppose singing dogs and golden caribou, where the living and the dead part and meet again in the crippling beauty of winter and the surreal haze of summer.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 31, 2011 – Returning home on the eve of his mother's death, an Anglican priest is haunted by memories of his far northern Canada hometown and its intertwined history with his family in Zentner's eerie, elegiac debut. Sitting by his mother's bedside, Stephen recalls his childhood of 30 years earlier, watching the men fell trees and float the logs downriver before the winter freeze. Stephen's father, Pierre, was a logger despite his mangled hand, but after Pierre and Stephen's sister die in an ice skating accident, only stories remain of him, and Stephen later passes these along to his own daughters just as stories of Jeannot, Pierre's father who left Sawgamet when Pierre was an infant, were kept alive as family lore. Soon after Pierre's death, though, Jeannot, a town founder, reappears and insists he has returned to find his wife, though she's been dead for years. The tales he tells Stephen of golden caribou, malevolent wood spirits, and a winter that lasted so long it buried the town in snow until July are woven in so seamlessly that the reader never questions their validity. The rugged wilderness is captured exquisitely, as is Stephen's uncommon childhood, and despite a narrative rife with tragedy, Zentner's elegant prose keeps the story buoyant.

Customer Reviews


Wonderful yet haunting! Each chapter pulls you deeper into the mystery of the eternal. Touched my soul and my belief that all is possible and imagination has it's roots in truth. This is a keeper.


This book captivated me from start to finish. The detail was so extensive that I began to form the characters in my mind and place them in the story. When I finished, I felt as if I had been touched. The author definitely pulled the story together at the end.

Touch: A Novel
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Apr 04, 2011
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Print Length: 264 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings