When She Was Electric (Raincoast, 2003)
‘When She Was Electric is a powerfully poetic story of secrets and departures that vibrates with the energy of family ghost and chilling events.’
When She Was Electric is a layered, evocative first novel from a young writer. At its heart is a wrenching disruption–the disappearance of a young girl in a sleepy town in the 1930s.
Electric digs deep into the story of three generations of women: the enterprising grandmother who bought a rejected piece of land near an Indian Reserve; the daughters, ethereal Min and bold Nellie; and granddaughters Ana and Willa, who embody the hopes–and the secrets–of this matriarchy. MacPherson brilliantly reveals the hazy unreliability of memory, the fragility of life, and how a child’s death haunts a splintered town.