A spaceship hurtles towards the moon, hippies gather at Woodstock, Charles Manson leads a cult into murder, and a Kennedy drives off a Chappaquiddick dock: it’s the summer of 1969. And as mankind takes its giant leap, Jordan May March, disabled bastard and genius, age fourteen, limps and schemes her way towards adulthood. Trapped at the March family’s cottage, she spends her days memorizing Top 40 lists, avoiding her adoptive cousins, catching frogs, and plotting to save Yogi, the bullied, buttertart-eating bear caged at the top of March Road. In her diary, reworking the scant facts of her adoption, Jordan visions and revisions a hundred different scenarios for her conception on that night in 1954 when Hurricane Hazel tore Toronto to shreds, imagining such parents as JFK, Louisa May Alcott, Perry Mason, and the Queen of England.
But when bear-baiting cousin Derwood finds the diary, and learns everything that the family will not face, the target of his torture shifts from Yogi the Bear to his disabled and haunted adopted cousin. As caged as Yogi, Jordan is drawn to desperate measures.
With its soundtrack of sixties pop songs, swamp creatures, motor boats, and the rapid-fire punning of the family’s Marchspeak, When Fenelon Falls will take you to a time and place that was never as idyllic as it seemed, where not belonging turns the Summer of Love into a summer of loss.