Cherry Bites

Cherry Bites by Alison Preston

Signature Editions, 2004

Shortlisted for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
Shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award


On a summer afternoon in 1954 a four-year-old girl, Cherry Ring, bites her baby brother Pete on the cheek. Hard. He needs a skin graft to repair the damage and is scarred for life. Cherry knows what she has done is wrong and she really is sorry. But sorry isn’t good enough. The bite marks the beginning of a troubled relationship between the two that lasts a lifetime.

Her brother completely ignores her, and Cherry can’t find her way into her mother’s affections either. Her father is the only one who seems able to love her. When Cherry is in university her mother moves away, taking Pete with her. She finally starts to feel as though her life is going somewhere.

But in the summer of 1995 disturbing incidents begin to occur, and she realizes she has not managed to leave her past behind. She enlists the help of Inspector Frank Foote, who lives in her Norwood Flats neighbourhood, and whom readers will recognize from Preston’s previous books.

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…excellent family-history plot and plenty of atmosphere.”

– Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail


Preston has given an irresistible voice to a completely believable character…”

– Dave Williamson, Prairie Fire Review of Books


…a skillfully executed post-modern masterpiece…” 

– Julie Horbal, The Projector