Tess has just moved to Montreal from Nova Scotia, and seeks to lose herself by getting involved in the lives of others. She befriends an older man while delivering meals to the elderly. Her interest in his past veers into obsession after she furtively goes through his photos and letters and “borrows” his journal.
Though fact and fiction are blurred, they reveal a man shaken by political polarization and repression in his Latin-American homeland.
Tess learns about a young, passionate man in the 1970s forced to reconcile his love for a militant young woman and his dedication to his best friend whose family is on the other side of the political divide. As she delves deeper into the man’s story, she questions her own life choices, emotions and obsessions.
Exploring cultural and personal memory, Almost Visible reflects on what can happen when a lonely person intervenes in another person’s life.
Michelle Sinclair worked for two decades on policy related to human rights. She has lived, studied or worked in Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Switzerland, and the United States. She lives in Ottawa with her family. Almost Visible is her first novel.
In the media
“Almost Visible is a poignant, time-traversing literary novel about the rewards of daring to involve oneself in a stranger’s pain.” Karen Rigby, Foreword Reviews (Sep/Oct 2022)
“There is an intensity in Michelle Sinclair’s writing – depth of insight into each character, each setting and each moment – that draws the reader into the words of her story. (…) Almost Visible is a powerful study in themes of cultural and personal memory … Every word, every moment has a place in her writing. This makes for excellent reading.” Anne Smith-Nochasak, The Miramichi Reader
“A novel that wisely and compassionately explores the self-shattering lines that exist between altruism and betrayal, cynicism and idealism, and the harsh price paid by both sides.” David Adams Richards, Giller and Governor-General award winner
“A story about deep human connection wrapped in images of great beauty. Sinclair’s novel offers a cross-cultural exploration of a fractured past turned into a contemporary obsession. A delightful read.” Claudio Palomares-Salas, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Queen’s University
“In Almost Visible, Michelle Sinclair takes the reader into the lives of characters on the cusp of adulthood as they navigate their worlds. From Montréal to an unnamed “country in South America” on the verge of a civil war, we see how family secrets impact the lives of the unsuspecting. I found myself thinking about Almost Visible and the book’s characters for weeks after turning the final page—always a sign of a good book.” Blossom Thom, Montreal Poet, author of #HashtagRelief (Gaspereau 2017)
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