Wiebke von Carolsfeld

September 2019

How to survive the unthinkable? This is the question nine-year-old Tom has to face after witnessing his parent’s murder-suicide. After the horrific event, Tom refuses to speak. At first, he moves in with his childless Aunt Sonya, but she is ill equipped to deal with the traumatized boy. Before long, Tom is forced to move again, this time to Claremont Street in downtown Toronto, where he shares a run-down house with his mercurial Aunt Rose and his reckless yet endearing Uncle Will. As the seasons change, Tom’s silence becomes a powerful presence, allowing this fractured family to hear one another for the first time— and for Tom to finally find a home. Claremont is a gripping story of one family’s journey through grief and toward healing.

Wiebke von Carolsfeld is a German-born writer and filmmaker living in Montreal. She has directed three critically acclaimed feature films (Marion Bridge, STAY, The Saver), winning numerous awards, including Best First Feature at TIFF and Sudbury, Canada’s Top Ten, Best Screenplay from the Chlotrudis Society along with nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards, the DGC, the AIFF, and the WGC. She is a renowned feature film editor and has taught classes internationally on screenwriting, filmmaking, and the creative process. Claremont is her first novel.

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What they say
"Carolsfeld's characters are vivid"
Rachel Pisani, Quill & Quire

"Claremont, by filmmaker turned novelist Wiebke von Carolsfeld, is a novel about the emotionally messy Michajelovich family, all of whom come with their own baggage and their own techniques for lugging it through life."
September 2019, Quill & Quire

"A welcome surprise"
Jim Fisher, Miramichi Reader

"A very convincing and a very gratifying read. Family, trust, failures and regrets, and underneath it all, a young boy who was spared being part of a family murder-suicide. A laudable first book. I am adding it to the 2020 longlist for “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best First Book (Fiction)."
September 2019, The Miramichi Reader

High praise

“This lovely, gripping novel, with its sense of wonder and horror about the adult world, has a Spielberg-ian quality. It is a resonant tale about a child’s loss of innocence, the terrible fracturing of a family and the purifying path to healing and reconciliation. 

Claremont is also an enormously impressive city-specific novel. Rarely has one funky part of Toronto been so brilliantly brought to life.”
John Doyle, Globe and Mail columnist and bestselling author.

"Wiebke von Carolsfeld brings the nuanced beauty and magic of her award-winning, highly acclaimed films to Claremont and the result is a passionate story of a fractured family brought together by catastrophe and trauma. The ways in which they do and do not meet the challenge of caring for the child at the centre of the tragedy is alternately funny, messy, revealing, and uplifting – and always deeply absorbing."
Edeet Ravel, author Ten Thousand Lovers

"Claremont is big-hearted and rollicking -- a hosanna to messy families and their underestimated resilience."
Sean Michaels, winner Giller Prize


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