Congratulations on the publication of THE BERRY PICKERS by Amanda Peters publishing today in Canada (HarperCollins Canada)!

A four-year-old girl goes missing from the blueberry fields of Maine, sparking a tragic mystery that remains unsolved for nearly fifty years.

July 1962. A Mi’kmaq family from Nova Scotia arrives in Maine to pick blueberries for the summer. Weeks later, four-year-old Ruthie, the family’s youngest child, is seen sitting on her favourite rock at the edge of a field before mysteriously vanishing. Her six-year-old brother, Joe, who was the last person to see Ruthie, is devastated by his sister’s disappearance, and her loss ripples through his life for years to come.

In Maine, a young girl named Norma grows up as an only child in an affluent family. Her father is emotionally distant, while her mother is frustratingly overprotective of Norma, who is often troubled by recurring dreams and visions that seem to be too real to be her imagination. As she grows older, Norma senses there is something her parents aren’t telling her. Unwilling to abandon her intuition, she pursues her family’s secret for decades.

A stunning debut novel, The Berry Pickers is a riveting story about the search for truth, the shadow of trauma, and the persistence of love across time.


“Amanda Peters manages to take you home to the East Coast in the very best ways – through family love and personal grief and the precious accounting of minutes and memories. You cannot help but love these characters from the first chapter. They stay with you long after the last page.” — Cherie Dimaline, bestselling author of The Marrow Thieves

“The Berry Pickers is an intimate story about the destruction wreaked on a family when their youngest child goes missing. Peters brilliantly crafts a multi-layered tale about how one irrational act creates irrevocable harm that ripples through multiple lives, including the lives of the perpetrators. This is an emotional novel that is beautifully rendered. An amazing read from a talented new voice.”  — Michelle Good, bestselling author of Five Little Indians

“A marvelous debut. The Berry Pickers has all the passion of a first book but also the finely developed skill of a well-practiced storyteller. The Berry Pickers is a triumph.”  — Katherena Vermette, bestselling author of The Strangers

“The thing about picking a handful of berries is that each one is different—some are sweet, some sour, some extra juicy. The Berry Pickers is just like a handful of berries. It’s an unassuming novel filled with so much sweet, so much sour, so much juice. Reading this book, I was only ever hungry when it ended.” — Morgan Talty, award-winning author of Night of the Living Rez

“The Berry Pickers is a beautiful novel about family and about the way it makes and breaks and re-makes us again. This is a story of many border crossings, journeying away and coming back, and it contains a cast of characters you will never forget. With this book, Amanda Peters establishes herself as an essential new voice in Canadian Literature.” — Alexander MacLeod, author of Animal Person

AMANDA PETERS is a writer of Mi’kmaq and settler ancestry. Her work has appeared in the Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, the Alaska Quarterly Review, the Dalhousie Review and Filling Station Magazine. She is the winner of the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Unpublished Prose and a participant in the 2021 Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program. A graduate of the Master of Fine Arts Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Amanda Peters has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She lives in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, with her fur babies, Holly and Pook.

Amanda is represented by Marilyn Biderman for her writing and Rob Firing for her speaking.