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About this book
On the eve of NorthOre’s opening of a new mining operation in El Salvador in 2005, a group of Canadian human-rights activists are taken hostage by a former revolutionary fighter who demands that the company stop production at the open-pit gold mine and allow his family’s remains to be exhumed. The mine’s Canadian owner, however, decides on a combined police and security force action to end the standoff.
For most of the hostages, this is the first time anything like this has ever happened to them. For Danielle Byrd, the situation is all too familiar, as she was there twenty years previously as an embedded journalist with a guerrilla faction during the country’s civil war. Now, her daughter Aida must herself travel to the scarred landscape and choose her allies carefully if she wants to see her mother alive once more.
Marguerite Pigeon’s first novel is a gripping and tense political thriller as well as a genre-busting literary work, exploring a clash between two cultures and the true cost of doing business in the era of globalization. With character-driven action and imagery reminiscent of Georges Arnaud’s The Wages of Fear and a complex plot that recalls John Le Carré’s The Constant Gardener, Open Pit explores the legacy of violent conflict in a complex, shifting present.
“Marguerite Pigeon expertly winds the disparate threads of her characters' dangerous, suspenseful lives in this gripping novel. Violence and betrayal across lines of big business, politics and love intermingle to irresistible and devastating effect.”
"There's no question that Pigeon knows of what she writes, and she cares deeply about human rights and complicated environmental issues... Open Pit has the saving grace of being about something- the difficulties of indigenous people who must confront the combined power of their own governments in league with Canadian mining companies."
"Open Pit contains brutality, violence, destruction of trust and seeming collaboration, all painted in many more shades of grey than a typical political novel. When personal goals do not fully match political goals, things get murky, and motivation and dramatic irony muddy the waters further."
"Pigeon's exemplary novel is truly worthy of a chorus of cheerleading critics and discerning readers."