Pub date: September 17, 2013
Rights: Canada (English), World (French)
An Amazon.ca Top Book of 2013
A NOW Magazine Book of the Year
A Canada Reads Top 40 Pick
An accusation, regardless of truth, has its own life when let loose in the world. The words, released, went on uncoiling themselves.
While in Copenhagen, Sara Wheeler happens upon a touring Ethiopian circus called Cirkus Mirak. Later, she drives its founder, Raymond Renaud, through the night from Toronto to Montreal. Such chance beginnings lead to later fateful encounters, as renowned novelist Catherine Bush artfully confronts the destructive power of allegations.
With Accusation, Bush again proves herself to be one of Canada’s finest authors as she examines the impossibility inherent in attempting to uncover “the truth.” After a friend of Sara’s begins a documentary about the circus, unsettling charges begin to float to the surface — disturbing tales of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of Raymond. Accounts and anecdotes mount, denunciations fly, and while Sara strives to untangle the narrative knots and determine what to believe, the idea of a singular “truth” becomes slippery. Her present search is simultaneously haunted by her past.
Travelling from Canada to Ethiopia and Australia, Accusation follows a network of lives that intersect with life-altering consequence, painfully revealing that the best of intentions can lead to disaster.
"Rendered in Bush’ elegant prose, delivering lyrical moments that leave an impact." — Prism International
"A persistent tapping at the complexities of prejudice – the accusations we harbour in our hearts – brings an unnerving friction to Accusation...Bush’s prose is deeply considered, calm on the surface yet, on closer reading, full of ambiguities." — Globe and Mail
“Deftly rendered, Bush not only writes vividly about Toronto and Africa, evoking the kids’ gymnastic talents with great energy, but she gets to the heart of journalism’s essential dilemmas, too.” — NOW Magazine
“Rich with questions and complexity, an homage to the transformative powers of the circus, the beauty and possibility of beginning again.” — Vancouver Sun
“Be assured that Accusation is that rare beast: a literary novel with the page-turning properties of the best genre fiction. View it from a slightly oblique angle, in fact, and it could almost be a crime novel of the Scandinavian variety, Henning Mankell or Karen Fossum striding headlong into the murkier reaches of human motivation.” — Montreal Gazette
“Concentric circles spread steadily from the ethical dilemma at the novel’s core, growing in depth and implication right up until a perfectly pitched and exquisitely surprising ending. Critical acclaim has never been in short supply for Bush, but there’s a sense that Accusation, with a bit of good fortune, could also be her commercial breakthrough.” — Calgary Herald
"Bush reflects the messy truth of real life. People are complicated blurs of conscience and cowardice. We run toward things as often as we run away from them. We gnash at old hurts even as we throttle forward. And Bush gets that." — The Telegraph-Journal
“The novel is a page-turner in a way and a kind of detective story. Unlike most page-turners and much detective fiction, however, Bush’s realistic prose narrative is almost totally focused on issues relevant to readers’ lives.” — The Record
“Bush has put her novelist’s finger on something difficult and important.” — Susan Swan, author of The Western Light
“Catherine Bush's Accusation is a novel of great global and emotional scope.” — David Bezmozgis, author of The Free World
“Utterly compelling and readable, Accusation presents the reader with a disturbing mystery, and one journalist’s need to find the truth despite all the suspicion and conflicting hints. Along the way Catherine Bush draws us inexorably into a world marked by secrets, complicity, the unknown, and ultimately hope. A remarkably shrewd exploration of the agony of doubt.” — Gil Adamson, author of The Outlander
"At the heart of Accusation - and the source of its suspense - is the desire to see justice done in a situation where truth is elusive. The power of this novel is that it brings a quiet dignity and compassion to precisely this state of moral helplessness. This is a moving and ambitious book." — Anne Michaels, author of The Winter Vault