In the North, Anna sets out across Lake Baikal, a huge stretch of ice twenty-five million years old. When she collapses from fatigue, a man known as the Grizzly goes to her rescue and brings her to his den. The two loners gradually open up to each other, recounting their nomadic lives, loss of friends, and relationship with the great outdoors.
In the West, fiery Eleonore dreams of surfing the waves, gaining some freedom, and having a torrid love affair with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. It’s the early sixties, and the girl’s wild spirit will soon be reined in by family obligations and later by the controversial practices of Dr. Walter Freeman.
In the East, back in the nineties, a young Anna shares a compartment aboard the Trans-Siberian with Gaby, a globetrotter from California. The two girls soon form a friendship that will be rocky but life-changing.
In the South, an invisible writer pieces together fragments from her life that have filtered into her novel. The artistic process she reveals is a graceful and subtle form of autofiction that evokes Deborah Levy’s writing.
All these characters share a desire to follow their instincts and a need to reconcile their hunger for space and adventure with their roots and the ties that bind them. In this powerful road novel, Annie Perreault has created a fragmentary and polyphonic work, a tale of daring journeys across landscapes too vast to feel at home in.