Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Psychological

Wild Hope

A Novel

by (author) Joan Thomas

Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Psychological, General, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A CBC Books and Winnipeg Free Press Best Book of the Year

From the Governor General’s Award–­winning author of Five Wives, a thrilling contemporary novel about how the past never lets us go

Isla and Jake are a couple drifting apart. She is a chef and co-owner of a farm-to-table restaurant on the brink of closing; he is a visual artist tormented by the oil-and-gas legacy of his late father. A looming figure in both their lives is Reg Bevaqua, Jake’s childhood friend-turned-enemy, turned bottled-water baron.

Reg is a demanding regular at Isla’s restaurant and a man with a seething resentment toward Jake. With good reason, the feeling is mutual, but Jake keeps their past from Isla as he follows a devastating trail to the source of Reg’s wealth. When Jake disappears following a winter camping trip, Isla starts to connect the dots, with all roads leading to Reg and his magnificent property on Georgian Bay.

Seamlessly weaving together observations on the entitlements of the wealthy, the monetization of water and the politics of art, Joan Thomas has created a layered, page-turning read about how far we will go to hold on to power and what we will do to avenge old wounds.

About the author

JOAN THOMAS is the author of five novels, most recently Five Wives, which won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Her first novel, Reading by Lightning, won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean) and the First Novel Award, and was nominated for four other awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The bestseller Curiosity was named a Quill & Quire Book of the Year and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Opening Sky won the McNally Robinson Prize for Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. A recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Engel Findley Award, Joan Thomas lives in Winnipeg.

Joan Thomas' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In Wild Hope, Joan Thomas delivers not just a mystery, but also a rich and timely meditation on art, climate, and control. This is a deft and layered novel with so much to say about the world we live in now." — Alix Ohlin, Scotiabank Giller prize-shortlisted author of Dual Citizens and We Want What We Want

"A brilliant, beautiful novel as well as a gripping page-turner. With Wild Hope, Thomas holds a mirror up to our current moment and dares us to consider the big questions in the face of a changing climate and a future increasingly determined by a privileged few. A timely, vivid, and moving read.” — Saleema Nawaz, author of Songs for the End of the World

"Wild Hope is both riveting and deeply moral, a page-turner that rises to the level of metaphor. As beautifully-wrought as all of Thomas’s novels, it is her most political, and it asks the existential questions of our time. Can art, idealism, and love withstand the merciless onslaught of the climate crisis? And if the fate of the planet really does depend on the egotistical whims of men acting out their childhood grievances, are we doomed? Thankfully, Thomas is also our guide, leading us to the wild places where we might, indeed, find hope, and perhaps even justice."
Caroline Adderson, author of A Russian Sister and Ellen in Pieces

“Brilliant, absorbing, and finely crafted, Wild Hope is a novel about love, loss, art, food, and the perpetual urge to claim the last remaining scraps of a world teetering on the verge of climate environmental collapse. I ripped through these haunting and perfectly woven pages until the very end!” — Cedar Bowers, Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted author of Astra

Related lists