The Company of Crows

Karen Molson

April 2016

At thirteen, bookish Veronica Reid lives in a world inside her head, even if she isn’t entirely successful at resisting the intrusions of the world outside. It’s bad enough that she has to wear awful new glasses; it’s downright disastrous that she’ll have to spend the summer at Laughing Willows Trailer Park with her obnoxious younger brothers and unhappy mother. She can’t imagine anything worse. Lonely and bored, she begins to observe the activities of the local crows, even as she gradually finds a community among the odd denizens of Laughing Willows, makes a friend in seventeen-year-old Charlotte, and falls in love. When she is sexually assaulted, she finds unexpected strength both inside herself and in the people—and the crows—around her. 

A biographer and former independent bookseller, Karen Molson is the author of The Molsons: Their Lives and Times, and Hartland de Montarville Molson: Man of Honour. A direct descendent of John Molson, she lives near Vankleek Hill, Ontario, and likes to spend time studying and photographing birds. The Company of Crows is her first novel.

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What they say
People are talking

“A precocious young girl finds her flock in Karen Molson’s remarkable debut, a vividly immersive coming-of-age tale set in an Ontario trailer park one summer in 1974. Evocative and compelling, The Company of Crows gives us a bird’s-eye view into the life of Veronica Reid – an introspective thirteen-year-old who is at once both naive and wise beyond her years. A touching and satisfying tale of family, friendship and first love.” 
– Christopher diRaddo

“A tender coming-of-age story and a sympathetic portrait of mental illness that reminds us how life’s disorder can open on to unexpected joy."
– Christine Fischer Guy

Underdog birds
All Lit Up

In Karen Molson's The Company of Crows, Veronica Reid, a queer, nearly-blind 13-year-old girl growing up in an Ontario trailer park in the 1970s gains sight through a crow named Hrah. Veronica begins to deconstruct both crow and human behaviour too, as well as her budding romance with fellow trailer park resident Charlotte. And immersive coming-of-age story, The Company of Crows is perfect for the YA devotee who likes a touching underdog story full of friendship, family and first love.
December 2019, All Lit Up

Bird’s Eye View
Deanna Radford, Montreal Review of Books

Set in 1970s Ontario against the larger backdrop of the women’s liberation movement, this lesbian coming-of-age story is ultimately about Veronica learning how to get outside of prescribed domestic and social circumstances – and outside of her self.

With apparent ease, Molson has created a rewarding story showing the struggles and triumphs of people and of crows. She has created a rich intertextual world that is a pleasure to read. The Company of Crows is a compelling story that can capture the imaginations of both adult and young adult readers.
Read more.
January 2016, Montreal Review of Books


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