The Family Code

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2023

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Description

Every family has rituals and routines holding them together. But sometimes they are the very things that tear them apart. The Family Code is a gritty family drama featuring the troubled life of Hannah Belenko, a young single mother dogged by the brutality of past traumas and a code of silence that she must crack in order to be free—or else lose everything.

Hannah was raised by this code and rules her own family by it. When she loses her daughter to the state and her boyfriend threatens her, she flees from Ottawa to Halifax with her remaining son, six-year-old Axel. While she bulldozes her way through everything and schemes to protect him, Axel flounders in the chaos. He begins to doubt his mother and her dream of a way out. With her life crashing down, Hannah is driven by desperation to survive yet hangs on to elusive hope.

 

With unvarnished and high-voltage prose, The Family Code unabashedly reveals the power and perils of parenting, but also the longing and vulnerability of children.

Every family has rituals and routines holding them together. But sometimes they are the very things that tear them apart. The Family Code is a gritty family drama featuring the troubled life of...


A Note From the Publisher

Wayne Ng is a highly acclaimed Canadian author, whose last novel Letters from Johnny won the Crime Writers of Canada Award, was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Awards, and was featured widely in Canadian media (radio/broadcast/print).

Wayne Ng is available for interviews and events.

Wayne Ng is a highly acclaimed Canadian author, whose last novel Letters from Johnny won the Crime Writers of Canada Award, was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Awards, and was featured widely in...


Advance Praise

Building on his years of social work, Ng has written a searing portrait of a family in crisis drowning in the complexities of love and unresolved pain.

—Amy Tector, author of Speak for the Dead


Hannah and Axel's story will break your heart. But it also stands as a timeless and stunningly textured testament to hope, redemption, and love. A must-read!

—Hollay Ghadery, author of Fuse


Intricate plotting and sizzling dialogue show an imaginative master at work, narrating in dual points of view with authentic voices, sharp wit and deep sympathy.

—Josip Novakovich, author of Rubble of Rubles and Man Booker Finalist


Ng's characterization is beautiful and utterly convincing. He writes with the perfect balance of grit and beauty, compassion and stark reality, always aware of his character's motivations.

—Danila Botha, author of Things that Cause Inappropriate Happiness, and For All the Men


With the immediacy of a bruised throat, Wayne Ng's compelling new novel The Family Code confronts us with an unsympathetic character with whom we sympathize, the baffled son she struggles to care for, and the tenacity of their hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances.

—K.R. Wilson, author of Call Me Stan


The Family Code is a gritty and unflinching look at the devastating effects of intergenerational trauma. Wayne Ng has created vulnerable, damaged, and compelling characters that will resonate with me for a long time. Heartbreaking but also hopeful, this book put me through the wringer.

—Bianca Marais, author of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

Building on his years of social work, Ng has written a searing portrait of a family in crisis drowning in the complexities of love and unresolved pain.

—Amy Tector, author of Speak for the Dead


Hannah...


Marketing Plan

Review copies available for mailing across Canada and the US.

Launches and readings across Ontario in Spring/ Summer 2023. 


Publicity by The Idea Shop.

Review copies available for mailing across Canada and the US.

Launches and readings across Ontario in Spring/ Summer 2023. 


Publicity by The Idea Shop.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781771837934
PRICE $21.95 (USD)
PAGES 316

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Average rating from 5 members


Featured Reviews

The Family Code tells the story of a family involved with Canada's child welfare system. Wayne Ng obviously has experience with the system as his tale is such an accurate portrayal of the problems within the system, the legacy of trauma, and the experiences of the people who work within or are involved with child welfare. Often, families and child welfare workers are portrayed as clear villains or heroes and this book delves into the nuance. No one is perfect and unlikely people show up to support the family and become safe adults for a child caught in the middle. Rather than making the parent the enemy or someone on a clear course to redemption, Ng shows the ups and downs of addiction, bad choices, hard work, and likely mental illness.
As someone who worked inside the system, I know that we often are only witness to part of the story. Our involvement ends not when the happily ever after begins, but rather when the immediate crisis is over. I have never read a book that epitomizes that experience as well as this one. Ng brought this story to life in a way that felt incredibly authentic and I highly recommend this book.

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Ng is a master of character. As I closed out this book, I read Ng's bio at the end and it mentioned he was a school social worker - it all clicked together at that point. In this novel, Ng follows Hannah and her son Axel. They are are working with the Canadian children/social services system. We learn about Hannah's upbringing and see how it impacts her parenting and how her parenting is already impacting Axel. Ng is so balanced in giving us insight into Hannah's mind as well as Axel's increasing our understanding of inter-generational trauma. This novel is the epitome of two things can be true at the same time and supports a nuanced understanding of what others may be going through. Not providing excuses, but simply giving greater understanding to those who haven't had a life experience.

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