Canadian author Ashley Audrain’s recommended reads for the cottage

Ashley Audrain photo for cottage book list Photo by Alex Moskalyk


Reading at the cottage is the ultimate escapism. To find out what should be on your reading list this summer, we spoke with Ashley Audrain, the Canadian author of The Push, her chilling debut novel topping international best-seller lists. Here are the books she highly recommends.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

ashley audrain cottage book recommendations
Photo by Penguin Random House

“This is a beautiful novel about a couple who set out on a 44-foot sailboat with their two young children, in the hopes of saving their marriage, and themselves. It’s a hugely transporting and moving book that I won’t soon forget, and perfect for a gusty Georgian Bay read.”

Buy it at

Gutter Child by Jael Richardson

ashley audrain cottage book recommendations gutter child
Photo by Harper Collins

“Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, this is a powerful Canadian debut about a young woman who must find the courage to determine her own future and secure her freedom. This is a great one to share with the young adult readers at your cottage, too.”

Buy it at

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

ashley audrain cottage book recommendations such a fun age
Photo by Penguin Random House

This is one of my favourite novels published recently, a perfect read-in-one-day-on-the-dock book about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. You’ll want to pass this along to a friend and talk about it together.”

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How A Woman Becomes a Lake by Marjorie Celonas

 ashley audrain cottage book recommendations how a woman becomes a lakes
Photo by Penguin Random House

“This novel is told from shifting perspectives and in lyrical prose, about a woman who goes missing in a small fishing town after she takes her dog out for a walk. Just before, she places a call to the police saying she’s found a young boy in the woods. It’s a compelling, thriller-like page-turner that asks, what do you do when the people who are meant to love the most, fail?”

Buy it at

Natural Killer by Harriet Alida Lye

ashley audrain cottage book recommendations natural killer
Photo by Penguin Random House

This is a poetic and riveting memoir about Harriet’s diagnosis with a rare form of cancer at just fifteen years old, for which there were no known survivors—until Harriet.  Later in her life, she becomes pregnant, despite being told conception would be impossible. This memoir is a fascinating portrait of illness and motherhood, of creating life and making death, and of what it means to want to live. And it’s filled with hope! A remarkable story, perfect for a quiet, introspective read on the porch.”

Buy it at

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