A Shark In The House


Spanning three generations and five decades of changing times and mores, A Shark In The House is a contemporary story of love and ambition, death and survival, and the strangeness that lurks in ordinary lives. Told by Holly Kowalski, a Toronto dentist, it has the authentic style and complex reality of the book within everyone.




Critics’ Acclaim for    A Shark In The House

“ A carefully crafted novel, rich in characterization and descriptive images… a briskly paced read… refreshing, believable, deep. A realism that readers will find interesting… meshes fictional with real characters and places, incorporating numerous historical events, like the standoff at Oka whose peaceful resolution reaffirmed our patient, collective Canadian character. At it’s heart, A Shark In The House is a Canadian story, a host of ingredients and anomolies from our multicultural melting pot that is uniquely ours and one which Heffron so uniquely brings to life.”           Rolf Sturm, The Villager









A Shark In The House,  Dorris Heffron's first adults' novel is available from your library or  Amazon.ca   Amazon.com  or  dorrisheffron@sympatico.ca


Dorris Heffron (standing) at the campsite of the Oka Stand-off, September 1990. (photo by Rain Newton-Smith)

“A triumph of characterization… and scope. A history of not only one deeply troubled marriage and its aftermath, but of a generation of women who came of age in the 60s. All the characters have depth and the interplay between them is convincing. Solidly crafted…Wins the reader’s empathy.”    Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star

“Has a buoyancy that’s infectious… plenty of wry irony… fun and spice. A delicious account of a party at Barry Callaghan’s house. Pleasure in reading loving descriptions of growing up Polish on Roncesvalles Avenue, moving to a big house on Riverside Drive, living in the condos on Harbourfront and drinking at the Bellair Café in Yorkville. Life in Toronto… life in Oxford… have the sparkle of a great smile.”               John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

“A humourous yet penetrating look at upward mobility as practiced in contemporary Canada and at the emotional wreckage it can leave in its wake… About the pressures of modern life as lived in the midst of suburban respectability, about a broken marriage and about alternatives and the possibility of change… trenchant tale… interesting and exacting… the conventional and the unconventional collide with surprising results… brisk, sparkling and full of current interest… observant in its depiction of the anguish of childhood and the solace of female friendship… alive and memorable.”    Nancy Schiefer, The London Free Press

“Rich and weighty… Accurate and colourful scenes of Toronto, Oxford and college life, interesting insights into the suburbs, the condos, the BMW’s and the literary scene. Real authors are portrayed… Brilliantly portrays relationships… Not since Margaret Laurence has there been such sympathy in depicting the complexities that exist between the young of today and their adult mentors.”                                              Enid Delgatty Rutland, The Ottawa Citizen