“We are widows. We are mothers. Above all, we are the women of our beautiful country, and we will endure.” This book, before you even open it, is amazing for two reasons. It heralds dual return of Newfoundland’s completely overlooked wordsmith Nicole Lundrigan, and phoenix publishing house Douglas and McIntyre. The story, ultimately about endurance in the face of political and social corruption and postwar trauma, which asks if it is possible to rebuild, is the perfect springboard for the return of Canada’s most iconic publisher. In The Widow Tree, Lundrigan tackles the terrain of 1950s Yugoslavia with such a graceful confidence and intimate knowledge of her subject, you will be transported. Deftly threading its metaphors like a suture on the body politic of this former nation, this is one of the most surprising and important works of literary fiction this year.