Minor earthquakes every day; that's what they say. Lucy feels the tremors like a needle sensitized to respond to the slightest movement. She feels the push, the blind thrust of the earth's elastic body, pushing out, pulling in, behaving unpredictably. She lies awake at night, staring into the darkness, thinking of the tectonic plates moving against one another, building up tension, until something has to give.
On an isolated island in Lake Ontario live twins Lucy and Levi and their father, Daniel. While Daniel desperately mourns for his dead wife, Levi and Lucy grow up ever more entwined in their enchanted childhood of fairy tales and rhymes.
But when a fissure in the fragile cocoon of the family explodes into a chasm, each of the three is hurled in a different direction. Soon, there emerges a geographical triangle - Vancouver, Montreal, the island - that also maps out the terrain of love and the territory of family.
Part Egyptian myth, part Alice in Wonderland, How the Blessed Live is an ethereally quiet, unexpected debut from a novelist to be watched.