Two White Queens and the One-Eyed Jack


Dark secrets are revealed, love is found, and courage is restored.

On a hot June day in 1965, two six-year-old boys, Gareth and Jack, compete to see who can climb higher up a tree. When Jack falls and loses his eye on a thorn bush, the accident brings about a series of events that will bind the boys together for the rest of their lives.

When the best friends meet the albino twins Clara and Blanca, a shared fate unfolds. With Gareth and Jack’s help, the twins are able to reclaim their lives and leave their nightmarish past behind them.

From the shores of Lake Ontario to the hustle of Berlin, from the art of oculary to punk opera, this is a story of dark secrets, suppressed desires, forgiveness, and love.


A brilliant novel with its conceptual expansiveness, its eclectic characters with their quirky attributes, and its erudition and keen observations about so many things. Heidi’s writing is a seamless fusion of poetry and prose.

Jeffrey Side, reviewer and editor, Colorado Review

Even when I finished the book, it seemed that the characters hung around me for days, breaking into my every moment.

Katherine Preston, author of From Holocaust to Healing

Captivating revelations, brisk candour, and irreverence… Heidi is a gifted writer.

Charles Pitts, writer and producer at Novalis Films

About the Author

Heidi von Palleske

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 17, 2019

Heidi von Palleske

Heidi von Palleske is a writer, actor, and activist. She has written poetry, articles, and fiction, and won the H.R. Percy Novel Prize for her novel They Don’t Run Red Trains Anymore. Heidi spends time on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but calls Toronto home.