For as long as 13-year-old Paige Morrow can remember, the tree fort in the giant oak near her cottage in Ontario's Muskoka has been her sanctuary. Now everything is changing. Its the summer of 1971, and she and her little brother, Toby, have been at their cottage with their mother since school let out. But this year, Paige feels more alone than ever. Her father has stopped coming up from the city on weekends, while her mother buries herself in whiskey and writing.
Paige retreats to her tree fort, but becomes concerned when the farmer who owns the property hires a creepy arborist - a tree doctor, Paige's mother calls him. Is something wrong with the farms apple orchard or with her tree? When Paige befriends the arborist's troubled teenage daughter, Janine, and her group of rowdy locals, she is pulled into a maze of dark secrets and shocking truths that leads to a life-and-death confrontation.
About the Author
Shaun Smith is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Toronto Life, Chatelaine, the Globe and Mail, and on CBC Arts Online. He is a regular book reviewer for the Toronto Star and a contributing editor at Quill & Quire. He lives in Toronto. His website is www.shaunsmith.ca.
"In Snakes and Ladders Smith adroitly captures this dichotomy showing the outsider’s summer Muskoka experience in a place that for them is just as much a home as the city but closer to nature and freedom."
...this book is touching, intriguing and devasting ... Snakes and Ladders is a story you won't soon forget (FOUR STARS).