Rankin Inlet is a novel set in an isolated community on the west coast of the Hudson Bay, roughly halfway between the Manitoba border and the Arctic Circle. The main characters are a British nurse-midwife who has been posted to the Rankin Inlet Nursing Station and a traditional Inuit hunter and his family, who struggle to adjust to the challenges of modern settlement living. The novel opens in 1970 and ends in 1999, but through a series of stories and flashbacks, it touches on many of the tumultuous changes the Inuit of northern Canada adapted to throughout the twentieth century. Through the nurse's diary entries, we see through fresh eyes a remarkable place and its inhabitants. As the old man sits at the bedside of his critically ill daughter, he tells her stories about their past, and how they came to live in Rankin Inlet. Through a young man's letters to his kid brother, who is away at hostel school, we learn about the joys and challenges of contemporary living in a remote Arctic community. As the lives of these characters become intertwined, they confront issues of love and loss, identity and belonging. All the while, political forces are reshaping the map of Canada.
Mara gives an overview of the book:
Mara Feeney studied Anthropology and spent several years working as an Eskimo Housing Officer in the Canadian Arctic before becoming a Planner and environmental consultant in California. Her first novel is set on the west coast of the Hudson Bay, in the territory of Nunavut,...