Facing the Other Way by Gwen Davies
In Facing the Other Way Davies portrays a cast of idealistic housemates working toward a better world. In youth, with all of the innocence and naiveté of the ‘sixties, they rescue a pregnant girl from the street and take in abandoned babies. In the disenchantment and insecurity of middle age, one faces childhood guilt while another questions her relevance as a social worker. And through it all, when it counts, they are there for each other.
A Fragment of May by Susan Cameron
In the summer of 1969 Anne Dunlop leaves her job teaching high school and the consequences of a broken romance behind her in Toronto and heads back to Halifax to embrace the comfort of home and family. By chance she lands a job at an inner city employment office. Her first clients are dayworkers, many of whom are still adjusting to the uneasy resettlement of their entire community to the neighbourhood due north of Citadel Hill. Anne, too, faces her own adjustments. Her widowed father has a new love in his life. And there is Serge, a charming military man who, unlike her, has a clear future ahead of him. But Anne’s greatest challenge arrives when she receives a letter from her dearest Aunt Adele, forcing her to consider who she really is and what she truly wants for her future.
The Island Hoppers by Douglas Arthur Brown
What you are about to read in the pages of this book will surprise you, no doubt delight you, and most certainly enlighten you. This astonishing narrative reveals that before the great glaciers began to melt thousands of years ago and the waters swelled, the North Atlantic Ocean was populated by many small islands. On these islands lived several species of creatures called The Island Hoppers, each with its own unique, and often bizarre, way of life. As their islands began to slip beneath the rising seas they travelled for months, perhaps years, until finally they found a new home. It was a beautiful island, large enough for all of them, with vast resources to meet their needs. That island was what we now know as Cape Breton.
Charmingly awkward Nathan Mills has never told the truth about his relationship with Layne Rhodes. Now he’s coming clean for the first time. How he fled the even flow of small town Ontario for fast-paced Vancouver. His endearingly clumsy go at independence — including follies as a boyish salesman in the cutthroat paint industry. Crowned by the funnelling events that led to his rooming with Layne. But through his tales of their circuslike time spent together, Nathan may discover that setting the record straight can be more complicated than you imagine.
An unexpected celebration of the city of Vancouver, To Lain Roads is a comic work of literary fiction that triumphs in smoking out stark humour, and hope, from the oddest of people and places.
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The Value of The Land by D.C. Troicuk
Living in Toronto, after years of estrangement, Dixon Peach is reluctantly drawn back into his family when his grandfather offers him an opportunity he can hardly refuse. If Dixon will move back home and claim his inheritance—the family farm in Cape Breton where he grew up—the old man will finance the development of a golf course on the property. For Dixon this means not just returning to the life he ran away from, but admitting that, on his own, he has been unable to find his place in the world—something his deceased father could see just by looking out his own window. He arrives to find the land where he has set his tentative hopes desecrated for profit. In setting things right, Dixon must come to terms with his resentment toward his father and his guilt over the death of his little brother. Only then can he make a choice that will not only determine his own future but bring full circle the conflicting hopes and dreams of three generations.
Laughed Till They Cried by Sally Barnes
Laughed Till They Cried chronicles the lives of three post-war girls who grow up amidst a group of quirky characters in a small town in Eastern Ontario. Ultimately they settle in historic Kingston where they get involved in politics and form the core of a closely knit group of 12 women who call themselves The Cell Sisters – just for the hell of it. The Cell weathers everything life can throw at a group of women hell bent on taking on the world. Nothing can stop them—until old age ruins everything.
Seeds by Douglas Arthur Brown
Aphra Abrams, an internationally renowned television gardening expert, is on the brink of retirement when she locates the child she gave up for adoption fifty years ago. However, Caroline comes with an unexpected complication: a man she believes to be her blood brother and Aphra’s son.
All three, together with Aphra’s enigmatic assistant Hada at their side, weave a tangled web of survival, choice, love, resentment, and hope. From the botany of Canada to the formal gardens of England; from the intimate and famous historical jardins of France to the deserts of Niger, they explore where blood ends and relationship begins, redefining the very seeds of family in a global modern age.
The Komodo Dragon and other Stories by Douglas Arthur Brown
The diversity of theme, voice and setting in the nine stories that make up Douglas Arthur Brown’s collection, show his versatility as a writer of fiction. Brown’s edgy treatment of cultural difference, forgiveness, marriage, infidelity, moral/ethical issues, myth and death is sometime poignant, sometimes disturbing. From the women and men pursuing love in foreign languages to boys navigating the rough terrain of family life and friendship, Brown’s characters take us beyond the boundaries of regional literature – from Glace Bay to Toronto, Denmark, Italy, Macedonia and China. These wildly divergent stories are nonetheless unified by a single theme: universal human need for connection with other beings.
Quintet by Douglas Arthur Brown
From Copenhagen, Toronto, and Halifax, three brothers, identical triplets, are summoned home by the death of their parents in a freak accident. Adrian, Rory, and Cameron return to Cape Breton, the island home they left in their youth. They are together for the first time in many years. As each recounts his separate path, they begin to identify the steps that led each one away from the other two. And at every step, the triplets find themselves in the shadow of their older brother Talbot—the Big B—and the family secret Talbot has hoarded for a generation. Quintet is a kaleidoscope of unforgettable characters, buoyed by humour and limned with intelligence, an often irreverent, sometimes raw, and uncommonly honest journey toward love and truth.
By times compassionate, brave, and humorous, this bright and poetic collection roams from a little country girl to the urban party crowd, from rural teenagers’ drunken exploits to a Trappist monk – culminating in a connected series of longer stories about Beatrix Chambers, a young artist learning about love, aging, and most of all, about the meaning of family. The extended portraits of Bea’s stays at home, and her experiences of parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins, are as flawless as crystal and as soothing as summer light.
The Promised Land – a novel of Cape Breton by Bill Conall
WINNER OF THE 2014 STEPHEN LEACOCK MEMORIAL MEDAL FOR HUMOUR!
Over the centuries a wide variety of colourful settlers have washed up on the shores of Cape Breton Island. Early in the 19th century, fiesty Scottish Presbyterian minister Norman MacLeod and his flock arrived to seek a promised land. A hundred and fifty years later a small group of hippies follow in pursuit of a dream, hopelessy unequipped to meet the challenges of an island where the main crop, ahead of lobsters, coal and steel, is rocks. Then, a dozen years into the new millenium, a brand new and financially encumbered doctor coaxes her asmathic old K-Car across the Canso Causeway on her way to her first job at a small clinic in the village of Baddeck.
Bill Conall’s The Promised Land skillfully and at times hilariously navigates the ebb and flow of island life where things go from better to worse to oh-my-goodness, all the while sharing his characters’ belief that “They’re all good days if we’re here to see them.”
Indian Maiden Story – Sismoqnapui’skwe’j –
The Legend of Maple Syrup by Mary Louise Bernard
A bilingual book in Mi’kmaw and English based on the stories told to Mary Louise Bernard by her mother. This delightful book tells the tale of a young Indian maiden in search of her grandfather. The maiden becomes part of her grandfather’s vision quest that leads them to discover maple syrup, a gift from our Creator. A Mi’kmaw pronunciation audio download is available with the purchase of the book.