• Open Pit

Open Pit


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978-1-927063-32-3 | 2013 April | 288 Pages


El Salvador, 2005: A group of Canadian human-rights activists are taken hostage by a former revolutionary fighter just as NorthOre is set to bring a new operation in the area. His demands? That the company stop production at the newly-minted open pit gold mine and allow his family’s remains to be exhumed. Unwilling to make any concessions, the mine's owner decides instead to embark upon a risky police and security force action to end the crisis.

For most of the hostages, the abduction is the most traumatic event of their lives. For Danielle Byrd, the violent and chaotic situation is all too familiar, as she was there twenty years previously as an embedded journalist during El Salvador’s decade-long civil war. Now, her daughter Aida must herself travel to the scarred landscape and choose her allies carefully if she wants to see her mother alive again. What she find, though, will leave her doubting everything she thought she knew...

Marguerite Pigeon’s first novel is a tense, gripping political thriller as well as a genre-busting literary work, exploring a clash between two cultures and the true cost of doing business in the era of globalization. As devastating as a cave-in, Open Pit examines the legacies of violent conflict in a complex, shifting present.

• radio interview with CBC Morning North

• 12 or 20 questions with rob mclennan

• interview with Peterborough Examiner

“Marguerite Pigeon expertly winds the disparate threads of her characters' dangerous, suspenseful lives in this gripping novel. Violence and betrayal across lines of big business, politics and love intermingle to irresistible and devastating effect.”
~ Lynn Coady, author of The Antagonist and Saints of Big Harbour

"There's no question that Pigeon knows of what she writes, and she cares deeply about human rights and complicated environmental issues... Open Pit has the saving grace of being about something- the difficulties of indigenous people who must confront the combined power of their own governments in league with Canadian mining companies."
~ Cherie Thiessen, BC Bookworld

"Open Pit contains brutality, violence, destruction of trust and seeming collaboration, all painted in many more shades of grey than a typical political novel. When personal goals do not fully match political goals, things get murky, and motivation and dramatic irony muddy the waters further."
~ J.C. Sutcliffe, Slightly Bookist

"Pigeon's exemplary novel is truly worthy of a chorus of cheerleading critics and discerning readers."
~ Wayne Cunningham, subTerrain