Watershed - Freehand Books

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  • Publication Date: May 1, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781988298597 / 1988298598
  • 5½" x 8½"

Free Reading Guide

It is 2058, and the glaciers are gone. A catastrophic drought has hit the prairies. Willa Van Bruggen is desperately trying to keep her family goat farm afloat, hoping against hope that the new water pipeline arrives before the bill collectors do.

Willa’s son, Daniel, goes to work for the pipeline corporation instead of returning to help the family business. When Daniel reveals long-concealed secrets about his grandfather’s death, Willa’s world truly shatters. She’s losing everything she values most: her farm, her son, her understanding of the past — and even her grip on reality itself. Vividly illustrating the human cost of climate change, Watershed is a page-turner of a novel about forgiveness, adaptation, and family bonds.

“Doreen Vanderstoop takes us into a future that feels more likely every day. The Van Bruggen family could be any of us, forced to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Watershed is a timely, beautifully rendered and prescient work.” ANN ERIKSSON author of The Performance

“Riveting . . . Watershed is the best kind of futuristic fiction, the kind that becomes grass-roots reality as we read.” WAYNE GRADY author of Up from Freedom

“This timely novel offers both a disturbing vision of what could be our not-too-distant future, and an inspiring reminder of the strength and courage ordinary people can draw from one another during troubled times. It offers a convincing portrayal of an Alberta contending with the consequences of its long obsession with oil profits, in which water has now become the force that drives power, money and politics. Ms. Vanderstoop’s dystopian novel marries love of place, the power of human relationships and the hard reality of climate change to produce a work that should challenge a lot of our contemporary obsessions. This is a cautionary tale about what really matters, rendered the more powerful by the fact that it could very well prove to be as much a work of prophecy as of fiction.” KEVIN VAN TIGHEM author of Our Place: Changing the Nature of Alberta

“This is us with just a few more decades on the Doomsday Clock. A future too well imagined, too likeable and plausible, to disown.” FRED STENSON author of Who by Fire

News & Events

March 14, 2023: "How I Write" with Mikka Jacobsen, Doreen Vanderstoop, and Charlotte Bellows
Recording available - August 16, 2022: Reading with Kevin Holowack, Thomas Wharton, and Doreen Vanderstoop
September 19, 2022: Doreen Vanderstoop and "The Group of Five Live"
Freehand wins four prizes at the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Three Freehand books shortlisted for the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Watershed reviewed in the New Southern Fugitives
Recording of Victoria Festival of Author's "Simply Unbelievable: Fresh Fiction for Unfathomable Times" panel, with Doreen Vanderstoop
Video: Doreen Vanderstoop at Word on the Street Toronto
September 10, 2020: Doreen Vanderstoop at Word on the Street (online)
Doreen Vanderstoop and Watershed on CSJW Writer's Block
June 30, 2020: Doreen Vanderstoop at Writers' Guild of Alberta (online event)
July 9, 2020: Doreen Vanderstoop at Calgary Public Library (virtual event)
Toronto Star reviews Watershed
49th Shelf Launchpad: Watershed
Apr. 26: Virtual Book Launch for Watershed
Apr. 28: Watershed Livestream
May 3: Doreen Vanderstoop in Edmonton
May 8: Doreen Vanderstoop in High River
May 9: Doreen Vanderstoop in Pincher Creek
June 19: Doreen Vanderstoop in Red Deer
CBC highlights The End of Me and Watershed
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