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.
Praise for Don Gillmor
“To The River: Losing My Brother is haunting, beautifully written and rightly hesitant about any certainties regarding an act as ultimately unknowable in social terms as it is in individual decisions.”
—Brian Bethune, Maclean’s
“Gillmor took on the thankless, though compelling, existential task of understanding another man’s life, happiness and grief. And what makes it worth leaving.”
—Globe and Mail
“As he explores the cultural, sociological and psychological questions surrounding suicide, Gillmor circles ever closer to an answer to the central question of those left behind: Why? On the way, he draws back the curtain on a subject too little discussed … At its heart, though, To the River is a family story, focused on a brother’s love and loss. It is a keen-edged, frank book, beautiful and unflinching, painful and important.”
—Robert J. Wiersema, author of Seven Crow Stories
“A beautiful, shattering book. Wise and honest, and exquisitely written. Insight for anyone who has known the gnawing sorrow or the endless accusation of a senseless loss. It will also make you laugh out loud. Go figure.”
—Linden MacIntyre, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Bishop’s Man