Books: Sally Barnes


Front Cover

Laughed Till They Cried by Sally Barnes

Publisher: Boularderie Island Press
ISBN: 978-0-9918552-7-8
Price: $21.95

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.
A self-confessed political junkie residing in Kingston, Ontario, Sally Barnes has filled many political roles, including candidate. She knows how political backrooms and newsrooms work. As a journalist, she worked at the Kingston Whig Standard, The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Telegram, The Toronto Star, and CITY TV. The Napanee native was president of the Ontario Legislative Press Gallery, served as Press Secretary to Ontario Premier Bill Davis for seven years, and was President of the Ontario Council on the Status of Women.

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“Laughed Till They Cried chronicles one heck of a journey. I sure enjoyed
this one.”

–Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda, TVOntario


” And speaking of (former Ontario Premier) Davis, his veteran press
secretary, Sally Barnes of Kingston by way of Napanee–a pioneering role
model for young women across generations, with her work in journalism,
politics and on gender equality–has a new book out, Laughed Till They
Cried. A fast-paced and exciting novel, it chronicles the stories of three
post-war women who eventually settle in Kingston, where they immerse
themselves in politics. The book is flying off the shelves and has received
rave reviews from the likes of Steve Paikin of TV Ontario and others.
Barnes, who has played a leading role in the Macdonald bicentennial
celebrations, has done us all a favour by writing and having this volume
published. Congratulations to this local treasure, a past president of the
Ontario Council on the Status of Women.”

— Arthur Milnes, Kingston Whig Standard January 2015


“Ah, this brought back memories of my years at Queen’s when I lived amidst
the Old Stones of Kingston ! Very clever novel. I am recommending it to all
my friends.”

—Allan Parker, Edmonton


“You have a wonderful ability to observe, describe and make real in a
timeless manner the experience of being human and the human condition,
especially relationships. Well done and thank you for the good read and
for inviting me into The Cell Sisters for a brief foray!”

—- Grace McBride, Kingston


“Amid the laughter and tears, readers of Sally Barnes’ Laughed Till They Cried will recognize themselves embedded in the crisp dialogue and graphic episodes where few emotional stones are left unturned and many lessons in life are a dividend. Great memories. Great read”

—- Ray McNeil,Former Queen’s Park functionary,Toronto


“ I read your book this week and thoroughly enjoyed it ! So many recognizable  places, people, political folk and parties, memories from way back when and such an interesting story line. Character development of the ‘cell sisters’ is so well-rounded and clever. Vonnie’s character haunts me and she takes those dreadful secrets to the grave. Congratulations on a great accomplishment!”

—- Joy Garrick, Kingston


“ I felt like I was sitting by the Rideau Canal with “the Originals” content in that peaceful setting and the peace of a completed journey through the lives of women everywhere. While you were writing a fictional account, there is so much truth in those pages. ..Thank you for turning the spotlight on ordinary, yet extraordinary women!”

—- Kathy Wood, Sydenham


“ I loved the book. What a read ! I couldn’t put it down. Your characterization was amazing—I feel like I know all of the main characters personally.”

—-Liz Hooper, Kingston


“It is extremely humorous and tragic at times. We will all see chunks of ourselves in the characters and how they are described and freely laid out so graphically. It is a remarkable book and I know you will enjoy it.”

—- Hugh Segal, former Senator and now Master of Massey College


“ Wonderful characters and situations that linger in my memory long after reading the last page.”

—- Susan Ramondt, Stratford


“ Just finished your book and I absolutely LOVED it ! Laughed and wept for sure. ..I would have to rate this a 5 star for sure Sal. Do another one !”

—- Kay Loek, Toronto


“ This brought back many happy memories of growing up in a small town as well as concerns we now have as we grow older. I laughed and I cried !”

—- Shirley Kemper,  Toronto


“Political junkies will love this insider’s look at the political jungle in Sally Barnes’ novel. Unique characters linger in the memory long after you’ve finished the book.”

—- Allan Dickie, veteran Toronto City Hall and Queen’s Park journalist


“ What a ride ! As a grandmother I cried and as someone who longs for the good old days I laughed and laughed at the memories. Thank you Sally.”

—- Pat Holden, Toronto