Saltwater Cowboys


After generations of prosperity in the mining town of Brighton, Newfoundland, Jack and Angela McCarthy find themselves jobless. In order to keep his family together, Jack accepts a job in a gold mine in the wilds of northern Alberta.


Arriving in Foxville, the McCarthys find themselves resented, bullied, and cast as outsiders. When Jack’s best friend, Peter, is swindled out of his savings and resorts to stealing from the mine, his attempts at reversing their fortunes thrust both families into even deeper torment.

A powerful, poetic novel dealing with the effects of poverty, the harshness and beauty of Canada’s north, the perils of theft, and the timeless value of community and family among displaced Newfoundlanders, Saltwater Cowboys is a classic cautionary tale that presents a stark glimpse into the lives of families struggling to survive in unfamiliar terrain.


Dewey Diva Picks


Furlong makes us feel the bite of barely thwarted poverty and the mounting inevitability that at least one of her characters will be tempted by the lure of easy money. An astute observer of the intimacies of marriage, she knows her men and women inside and out, the ways they misjudge themselves and each other, and, however misguided, try to provide comfort and hope. Saltwater Cowboys is an insightful, unmistakably Canadian novel with a social conscience.

Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, author of No Place Strange

Furlong is very good at conveying the isolation and loneliness the main characters feel.

Downhome Magazine

[Furlong] has an eye for the natural world and a talent for probing the emotional dimensions of physical sensation.

National Post

Although mainly set in the 1980s, the “Saltwater Cowboys” storyline remains more contemporary and timely than ever.

The Telegram

About the Author

Dayle Furlong

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Dayle Furlong photo

Dayle Furlong

Dayle Furlong is originally from Newfoundland and currently lives in Toronto. She studied Literature and Fine Arts at York University, and Creative Writing at Humber College, where she was granted an Award of Merit Fellowship for Fiction from the Summer Literary Seminar in 2011. Her first book of poems, Open Slowly, was called “reminiscent of ’70s feminist-Atwood” by Governor General's Award–winning poet George Elliott Clarke.