The Burden Place

A Novel by Jean McCarthy


Sid Burden aspires to build a house so large it might become a local landmark. Fuelled by depression and alcoholism, he takes his own life before seeing it through and finds himself trapped there as a ghost, observing while others better his efforts.

Among those he watches are a pair of sisters with fates entwined by their individual limitations, the Scottish immigrant who inherits Sid’s modest estate, and the generation that will eventually become responsible for the dispersal of it all.

Spanning five decades on the Canadian prairies, The Burden Place explores the impact of poverty, alcoholism and mental illness between family members in an era when such issues were hidden and misunderstood.

Reader feedback:

Jean McCarthy’s book brings to life the 19th century Canadian prairie and the resilient women and men who survived it. Weaving together family drama, small-town intrigue, and the daily, bone-tired work of farm life, THE BURDEN PLACE draws you in close and allows you to make friends that will live in your heart forever.

~ Erin W.

The characters are brilliantly captured, and the story moves along with just enough suspense and innuendo to leave me wanting “just one more chapter.

A well-written novel that kept me turning the pages quickly, all the while knowing I’d miss the story when it was finished.

The Burden Place has a place in my heart.

 ~ Kelly S.

This book spoke to my keen interest in Western Canadian history.  The struggles and successes, tragedies and triumphs in this story gave me a peek into what it could have been like. A really fun read.

~ Sue G.