Into the Blue

Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck

By Andrea Curtis

★ Winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction

The J.H. Jones, from a postcard

“Bringing to vivid life both the hustle and bustle of turn-of-the-century Wiarton, and the characters, flawed yet loved, who populate the author’s personal history…. Curtis weaves the threads of fact and speculation together with the skill of a novelist… Curtis has done her ancestors proud with Into the Blue, navigating the story with a deft, sure and sensitive touch, landing safely at a better understanding of herself and her family, in a beautifully realized narrative.”
–The Globe & Mail
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From the publisher

Using family stories, archival research and fictionalized reenactments, Curtis narrates her family’s history, and that of the place they once called home — Georgian Bay. Into the Blue shimmers with her rich and reflective voice, recreating a little-known but formative time when Canadians persevered through unthinkable loss, violence and disaster.



Why did you write this book?

My mother is an amazingly vivid storyteller, the kind who elaborates as they go along, picking up details like pebbles on the beach, fingering them until they reach a high sheen. Her version of my grandmother’s life and the story of the shipwreck that shaped her life is what made me decide to write Into the Blue.
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From the book

“For as long as I can remember I have been haunted by shipwrecks. Two in particular colour my fears with rust and slime. One of these boats is a prosaic wooden tug called the Metamora that was built in Cleveland in 1864 for service on the Great Lakes. It sank in 1907 about two hundred feet from the slippery pink rock that half a century later would become my father’s family island on the east shore of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.
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