Life might have other plans for Boy Cornelius McVeigh, as he discovers in this magic-tinged, coming-of-age novel about future plans conflicting with a complicated past and the inescapable present.

Boy’s final year of high school is unraveling. Fast. He had it all worked out, from crushing his final exams to military school to a career in the air force. But his family’s tragic past and its complicated present have caught up to him, and his marks are slipping, jeopardizing all of his plans.

When Boy befriends Mara, a homeless man who can seemingly stop and restart time at will, he has to weigh his family’s needs and his own conscience against the potential contained within Mara’s mysterious and powerful gift. But he soon realizes that the past can’t be undone, memories are as fragile as moments, and the future rarely turns out like we think it will.


Exquisite … Boy is a perfectly compelling protagonist.

Miriam Toews, author of A Complicated Kindness

Boy is evocative and heartfelt, containing a spark of magic and an achingly real protagonist.

Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife

About the Author

Brent van Staalduinen

Posted by Dundurn Guest on July 24, 2019
Brent van Staalduinen photo

Brent van Staalduinen

Brent van Staalduinen is the author of the novel Saints, Unexpected. He has won the Bristol Short Story Prize, the Fiddlehead’s Best Fiction Award, and the Lush Triumphant Literary Award. His stories have appeared in the New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, the Fiddlehead, and elsewhere. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.