Don Gillmor is the author of To the River, which won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction in 2019. He is the author of three novels, Long Change, Mount Pleasant, and Kanata, a two-volume history of Canada, Canada: A People’s History, and nine books for children, two of which were nominated for the Governor General’s Award. He was a senior editor at The Walrus, and his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, The Walrus, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. He has won twelve National Magazine Awards and numerous other honours. He lives in Toronto.
Breaking and Entering
By Don Gillmor
Published by Biblioasis
During the hottest summer on record, Bea’s dangerous new hobby puts everyone’s sense of security to the test.
Forty-nine and sweating through the hottest summer on record, Beatrice Billings is rudderless: her marriage is stale, her son communicates solely through cryptic text messages, her mother has dementia, and she conducts endless arguments with her older sister in her head. Toronto feels like an inadequately air-conditioned museum of its former self, and the same could be said of her life. She dreams of the past, her days as a newlywed, a new mom, a new homeowner gutting the kitchen—now the only novel experience that looms is the threat of divorce.
Everything changes when she googles “escape” and discovers the world of amateur lock-picking. Breaking into houses is thrilling: she’s subtle and discreet, never greedy, but as her curiosity about other people’s lives becomes a dangerous compulsion and the entire city feels a few degrees from boiling over, she realizes she must turn her guilty analysis on herself. A searingly insightful rendering of midlife among the anxieties of the early twenty-first century, Breaking and Entering is an exacting look at the fragility of all the things we take on faith.