AmazonChapters/Indigo Apple BooksBarnes & NobleKOBOKindle

The Haweaters

The Haweaters

By Vanessa Farnsworth


Bitter rivals. Festering animosities. Gossip, innuendo and scandal. And don’t forget the gun. A ragtag group of settlers come to Manitoulin Island in the 1870s with dreams of building a better future. What they find instead is murder.

Based on the real-life 1877 killings of two members of one family by two members of another, The Haweaters brings to life some of Manitoulin’s earliest European settlers as they struggle against nature, poverty, and each other in a collective quest to leave their dubious pasts behind them and attain prosperity in this rugged wilderness community.

But as people and animals go wayward -- and the lawman’s warnings go unheeded -- it seems increasingly doubtful things will come to a peaceful end unless cool heads somehow prevail. But cool heads are in short supply. So when the whiskey starts to flow, the only questions that remain are: Who will strike first? Who will remain standing when the battle is finished? And what in God’s name is anyone supposed to do about it on an island where rules are forever being broken, the law is constantly changing, and no one seems inclined to pull back from the brink of a disaster that has been brewing since the day these families first arrived?

It’s early summer on Manitoulin Island and things are about to get brutal.

“A little-known slice of 19th century Canadian history dished up as fiction with scandal, murder and mayhem on a rugged stretch of island off the northern shore of Lake Huron. Well crafted and a darned good read.”
-- 2021 Fred Kerner Book Awards Jury.

“When you write a whole lot of nonfiction, especially when you are a journalist, you don’t like to guess at things. So that said to me, write the story as fiction. The characters are telling the story from their perspective – if they lie, well, they lie. But readers can get a sense of what happened."
-- The Sudbury Star

"Vanessa's Farnsworth's debut The Haweaters (Signature Editions) is a historical novel that checks all of the right boxes for a page-turning read: rivalry, gossip, and a scandalous revenge plot.”
-- All Lit Up

"It was an eerie, strange experience to stand at the place where your family was murdered."
-- The Manitoulin Expositor

"There’s a reason why people are still talking about what happened almost 150 years later.”
-- The Penticton Herald

ISBN: 9781773240695 ($18.95)
ePub ISBN: 9781773240701 ($9.99)
Mobi ISBN: 9781773240718 ($9.99)
Published by Signature Editions.

Excerpt Order Recommended Reading