Book cover image for: Signs of No

The Signs of No

Judith Pond

$68.99 HC / $38.99 PB (T)

384 pages

6 x 9 inches

978-1-77385-481-6 (Hardback)

978-1-77385-482-3 (Paperback)

978-1-77385-483-0 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-77385-484-7 (ePub)

February 2024

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About the Book

A vanished daughter, a broken family, an unborn twin. What happens when loss is invisible, without ceremony or memorial?

Rose is divorced, fifty, and estranged from her daughter. At a student art opening on a rainy March evening she meets Morrison, a genial hoarder and womb-twin survivor, who leads us to Abbey, a dancer who is losing the chance to become a mother, who leads us to Iris, a bright ten-year-old doing her best to handle her family breaking apart.

When her daughter vanishes completely, Rose seeks out her old friend Mab, the cheerful keeper of little bad signs. Following her only clue, a postcard bearing just a signature and a photo of a pristine lake, Rose chases after her daughter and her past mistakes. A ghost on the shore of Maxhamish Lake may hold the key to the true mystery, one unknown even to Rose, buried deep in the heart.

The Signs of No is a story of guilt and grief, of finding one’s footing in middle life, and of discovery and reinvention. It traces the spiderweb cracks of invisible loss, common and uncommon, the losses that go without memorial or acknowledgment. It is a story about women, about motherhood, and the ways middle-aged women are underestimated, even by themselves.

About the Author

Judith Pond has published fiction and poetry in a wide variety of literary journals. She is the author of four poetry collections, including A Shape of Breath. The Signs of No is her debut novel.

Praise for The Signs of No

The Signs of No explores loss, transformation, motherhood and mid-life with precision, generosity and an indelible poetic style. A lush and dauntless debut. I can’t stop feeling it.

—Ali Bryan, author of Coq

Judith Pond gives us a rare book, so deeply observed and immersive. A fascinating read that’s paradoxically introspective and expansive, atmospheric, and intimately contemplative, all run through with wisdom, love, and a dash of humour.

—Bradley Somer, author of Fishbowl and Extinction