Set in Victoria, B.C. in 1881, Innocent Cities brilliantly weaves together the lives and lies of an entire community. Logan Sumner is a young widower and architect who dreams of transforming the tiny port city into one of the great cities of the world. When he's not chiselling a record of his life onto his tombstone, Sumner awkwardly courts the daughter of James Horncastle, the inveterate gambler and swaggering proprietor of the Great Blue Heron Hotel. Their lives - and those of the bizarre group of guests who frequent the hotel - are changed forever when a mysterious widow from Australia arrives in Victoria with startling revelations from her past. Rich with intrigue, warm humour, and a memorable cast of characters, Innocent Cities is a compelling tale from one of Canada's finest writers.
(from the cover of the Emblem edition)
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"A perfect tragicomedy, slipping and sliding from raucous laughter to bitter sadness and back again. Hodgins has once again set himself the task of inventing a world in all its rich contradictions of desire fulfilled and lost; and he has succeeded brilliantly."
"Hodgins writes with infectious charm and boyish enthusiasm for eccentric and larger-than-life characters ... [He is] a writer of boundless energy and talent."
"Innocent Cities has the masterful touch of a writer who knows his setting intimately …. Hodgins's greatest talent lies in his ability to create memorable portraits of vivid, sometimes disturbing, individuals .... His examination of the crippling effects of hatred and hypocrisy is at times stunning .... Innocent Cities digs deep into the human character, seeking out the hidden, often nasty, baggage that people carry with them."