When We Were Good
Finalist for the inaugural Speaker's Young Authors Award
Selected for the American Library Association's Rainbow List
A story about grief, girls and guitars.
The year 2000 isn’t starting out too well for Toronto high school senior Katherine Boatman. Not only has her oldest friend ditched her for yet another boyfriend, her beloved grandmother died on New Year’s Eve leaving a void of goodness in her life that Katherine’s not sure how to fill. While overwhelmed with sadness and self-doubt, Katherine unexpectedly finds new love, both for Toronto's underground music scene and for her would-be saviour: a straight edge, loud mouth misfit named Marie. As Katherine seeks comfort in jagged guitars, mind-reading poets and honest conversations, she struggles to figure out not only what she and Marie might mean to each other, but also what it truly means to be good.
Praise for When We Were Good:
"Set on Toronto streets in the year 2000, Sutherland’s first novel keeps the story fresh. A bit like Weetzie Bat with the wings ripped off." — The Globe and Mail
"When We Were Good doesn’t eschew teenage romance and bildungsroman narratives, but instead employs them through the lens of queerness and mental health, transforming them into something new and gleaming and important. " — Weird Canada