AskDefine | Define rockbound

Dictionary Definition

rockbound adj : abounding in or bordered by rocky cliffs or scarps; "the rock-ribbed coast of Maine" [syn: rock-ribbed]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. surrounded by rocks

Extensive Definition

Rockbound is a novel published in 1928 by Canadian writer Frank Parker Day.
Rockbound was one of the selected novels in the 2005 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by Donna Morrissey. Rockbound eventually won the competition.


The "Rockbound" mentioned in the title is an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Rockbound is isolated by storms, fog and winter weather, and governed by its self-proclaimed "king", the sternly righteous and rapacious Uriah Jung. When the young David Jung arrives on Rockbound to claim his inheritance, a small share of the island, he is forced to confront an unforgiving, and controlled world. His conflicts—both internal and external—lock him in a struggle for survival.
His enemies are many: sometimes the ocean, sometimes his own rude behaviour, sometimes his own best friend, sometimes his secret love for the island teacher, but always his relatives and their ambitions for money and power.
Rockbound calls to mind the infinite power, the terror and the cruel beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, and paints a portrait of hard toil, cunning bitterness and family strife in the years leading to World War I.


Rockbound was based "loosely" on the island of East Ironbound, Nova Scotia, Canada. Day visited East Ironbound as well as Tancook and Pearl Island (corresponding to Outer Island and Barren Island in the novel) in the summer of 1926, and was inspired. The islands' heritage lies mostly in two names, the Finks and the Youngs. The book's main character, Uriah Jung, as well as most of the other characters were based on real people. Day's interpretation and exaggeration of the life and personal lives of the residents did not sit well.

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