It is hard not to see ourselves in these pages. Sometimes we turn a page quickly, and at others we stay a while. A paragraph reread. Theis gives us something to think about. Besides, she’s got it in spades. I mean, she can write. I wish I could just reprint pages 98-100, but my word count says otherwise. … The cover blurbs of praise from Lisa Moore and Yann Martel are not out of obligation but recognition for a book of loss and hope told with eloquence and fearlessness. Read more…
– The Globe and Mail
Imagine that your birth mother gave you away to her own mother and then maintained a strict distance from you. How would you feel? This is what Theis explores in her first novel, a wonderful achievement…. Traveling back and forth in time, accompanied by Theis’ rich language, we come to understand both daughter and mother, and find hope at the end that Amber will succeed.
– Booklist (American Library Association)
[Theis] makes the Saskatoon of a generation ago breathe again as a vibrant city. The descriptions of the places and people in Del’s life are woven together to form a convincing portrait that is reminiscent of David Bergen’s early work.
– Quill & Quire
The Art of Salvage is mesmerizing. It is a carefully crafted novel which should not be missed by anyone who wants a book that will make them think. Read more…
– The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)
– Midwest Book Review
The Art Of Salvage is a complex, sophisticated examination of love and longing, frailty and strength, despair and hope. … The story of a mother and a daughter trying to negotiate some form of relationship in the midst of a raft of conflicting emotions – pain, anger, hope, fear – is universal in its portrayal of people as complex, multi-dimensional beings. There are no unbelievable caricatures here.
– Planet S Magazine
If this novel were a painting, it would be a prairie landscape with small human figures tenaciously present in the stark division between earth and sky – the flat horizon an emotional tightrope…. The true art of salvage, Theis shows us, is the ability to recognize the value of things that have been cast aside, broken and forgotten. Love allows us to see that value in people, even when they can’t see it in themselves.
– Back of the Book (Canada’s Online Magazine)
The Art Of Salvage is a beautifully written and intimately observed account of the distance constructed between a mother and daughter. Theis is careful to allow a wide berth for her characters, letting them move outside of any rigid ideas of who they are, or what they are capable of being. There is also a conscious effort to acknowledge that knowing where you come from needn’t strictly define who you are.
– Prairie Dog (Regina)
This novel was gripping, exhilarating, crushing, devastating, hopeful, and intense. I found myself attached to both characters in the early pages as the author successfully grabs the attention of the reader and holds it, almost effortlessly until the very last page. I found the descriptive style to be excellent, especially when dealing with volatile or emotional scenes. The reader can almost hear the sounds of objects breaking, and in one especially memorable scene, cutting (self injury) is featured and the detail, though very brief, was chilling. A great book and one that I will return to, time after time. Read more…
– The Literary Word