From a comfortable if idle middle-class, urban life, Abra abandons husband and children to live according to her own rhythms and rules. Years later her now-grown daughter finds her, raising questions about duty, love, selfishness, sanity and the nature of motherhood.
Globe and Mail: "An impressive first novel...a compelling story"
Calgary Herald: "Abra is the book of the season, a novel to be savoured for its fine writing, its perceptions, its feelings, its moral and emotional dilemmas...a gripping missing persons story"
Publishers Weekly: Abra is "a strangely haunting character"
London Free Press: "Joan Barfoot has an enormous story-telling capability, and it's impossible to put this, her first novel, down until the very last page."
Hamilton Spectator: "Abra is an absorbing story of a woman who found undiscovered strengths, a new identity and her very soul, and it will be appealing reading to anyone who has ever dreamed about taking a trip to freedom".
Ottawa Citizen: "appealing in its relevance and timeliness"
Books in Canada (Sandra Martin): "Abra is a strange and important book... It is a risky book, exploring new territory, and it works."
Toronto Star: "an honestly felt passage through loss and chaos to discovery"
Sheila Fischman (Toronto Star): "Abra Phillips is one of the best realized, most appealing (and troubling) women I've met in a novel since Margaret Laurence's Hagar Shipley."
U of T Quarterly: "an exceptionally accomplished first novel: skilfully structured, very well-written, intelligent"
Times Literary Supplement: "above all a novel about personal integrity"