Blaze Island

Author Bush, Catherine
Year 2020
First published 2020
Publisher Canada: Goose Lane Editions
Edition 1st Canadian Trade Paper
ISBN 9781773101057
Keywords earth sciences, climate change, risk to society (role of science), scientific ethics, scientists' social responsibility, literary or mainstream, speculative fiction, scientist main character, USA or Canada, FMS Library Book


A mammoth Category Five hurricane sweeps up the eastern seaboard of North America, leaving devastation in its wake. On tiny Blaze Island in the North Atlantic, Miranda Wells, teenaged daughter of weather-watcher Alan Wells, finds herself in an altered world, as does Caleb Borders, the young man from the island who works for her father. Who is the youthful stranger who crashes his car in the midst of the storm and seeks refuge in Miranda’s isolated home? Who are the three men who, hours before the storm erupts, have flown to the island in a sleek corporate jet? 

Just as the storm disrupts the present, it stirs up the past: Miranda’s days growing up in an isolated, wind-swept cove, and the long-ago past that her father will not allow her to speak of — when he was a renowned scientist running a Centre for Climate and Cryosphere Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, before climate-change deniers made him their target with terrifying consequences. While Miranda contends with the astonishing secrets that the stranger, Frank Hansen, reveals to her, Caleb grapples with alarming discoveries about the three visitors who find themselves stranded on Blaze Island. Both Caleb and Miranda are compelled to wonder: Is her father a man capable of working on a contentious climate engineering project that would attempt, despite huge risks, to cool the world’s warming weather by shooting particulates high into the atmosphere?

Blaze Island asks how far a parent will go to create a safe world for a child and what the children of today will need to do in order to imagine a future for themselves. Can we truly find a haven by sheltering in place? How do you imagine a tomorrow when the present seems, whichever way you look, to be hovering on the brink of catastrophe? Dramatizing the complex emotions that arise in the face of the climate crisis and intensifying ecological loss while navigating through a world that looks less familiar by the moment, Blaze Island enfolds a gripping human story within the larger presence of the constantly shifting elements: wild winds that grow wilder, the haunting parade of icebergs that float past Miranda’s door, melting as they travel ever-farther south. (author’s website)