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Last Summer At Barebones

Last Summer at Barebones is narrated by Dee Graham - a fortyish journalist who lives and works alone, scribbling stories for a tabloid rag. She's a recluse, a sleepwalking near-anorexic, still struggling to forget her miserable childhood as an enormously fat, compulsive overeater, despised and picked on by all.

But one night, her past roars back to her, when she crosses paths with an obese female comic telling intimate details of Dee's childhood twisted into a comedy routine. Dee realizes that the comic is her sister, the once beautiful Theresa, chief torturer during Dee's miserable teenage years. Dee is certain that it is her sister who ruined her life and Dee's long-squelched rage turns to a plot of revenge.

Last Summer at Barebones recaptures that last summer of 1970 at Barebones Lake, a place where Dee and her family had always been able to find peace. By the Labour Day weekend, everything has changed irrevocably for Dee. This first novel is told from Dee's bitterly skewed - but often very funny - perspective. It explores how society's obsession with looks can make both "beautiful" people and "ugly" ones suffer. A brilliant first novel which echoes She's Come Undone, Last Summer at Barebones establishes Diane Baker Mason as a brave new Canadian talent. 


...The book revolves around Dee Graham, a woman in her forties and a journalist, who writes for a tabloid magazine. A self-described recluse, the near-anorexic Dee struggles to rid herself of the horrible memories she has of when she was a child - an enormously obese child. She is still haunted by the unrelenting taunting she suffered at the hands of her sister. Dee and Teresa haven't seen each other since 1970, the last summer their family spent at their cottage on Barebones Lake...(based on Skeleton Lake in Muskoka...) 
-- Lisa Rainford, The Villager 



The writing of Last Summer At Barebones was in part inspired by the death of Kelly Yeomans, an English schoolgirl who committed suicide at age 13 to escape relentless bullying. Read about Kelly Yeomans 

Now available to readers at all fine bookstores across Canada or order online from Chapters and from  Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore 


ISBN NO. 1-55278-239-5
Published by McArthur & Co.
 (416) 408 4007