At the heart of Sointula is Evelyn, the mayor's wife in a mid-size southern Ontario city. Unexpectedly summoned to British Columbia to attend the deathbed of her long-ago first lover, Claude, Evelyn succumbs to a cascade of grief--over Claude, and over her estranged son with Claude, Tom. Impulsively, she throws away the trappings of her privileged life: her anti-depressant pills and her airplane ticked home, her wallet and most of the clothes off her back. Disoriented, hungry, stricken, impoverished, Evelyn steals a kayak and embarks on a quest that takes her deep into the West Coast wilderness. The goal: to find Tom--her strange, damaged son--in the remote fishing village of Sointula. Equal parts light and dark, compassion and irony, this is Gaston's most mature work: the story of a modern-day, female Don Quixote writer Peter Gore--and awkward, profane, funny and unforgettable Sancho Panza.