Each of the characters in SILENT INLET by Joanna Streetly sees life without seeing each other; thus the story is told in their interweaving voices. Hesquiaht hereditary chief, Simon Lucas, once said: "You only see us with one eye." This novel brings the west coast to life through a range of perspectives within which the reader experiences the raw physicality of people and place: people who are caught in the sea of turbulence, hardship and brilliance that characterizes the west coast, shaped by its history, Indigenous culture, and the forces of nature.
If you happened to be listening to CBC’s The Current on September 27 of last year, you would have heard an interview with Barbara Kingsolver, the author of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR*. This book is about climate change without being entirely about climate change. Somehow Kingsolver, a biologist herself, has woven the frightening and undeniable crisis of global warming into a beautiful coming-of-age story about a woman whose adolescence was cut short by pregnancy and early marriage but is about to begin finding her true self. The story opens as the book’s main character stumbles on a hillside covered with swathes of orange monarch butterflies that appear like fire on the landscape…*http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/the-current/segment/14187203
MY MOTHER’S SECRET by J.L. Witterick was inspired by the true story of Franciszka Halamajowa, who, with her daughter, saved the lives of fifteen Jews in Poland during the Second World War. Franciszka and her daughter are simple people who mind their own business until 1939, when Nazis invade Poland and they begin persecuting Jews. Providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. And yet, Franciszka and Helena do just that.
LILA by Marilynne Robinson revisits the characters and setting of Robinson’s novels Gilead and Home. Lila, homeless and alone after years of life on the road, steps inside a rural Iowa church to shelter from the rain, and sets off a relationship with the Rev. John Ames that will reshape both their lives. This thoughtful, open-minded, generous man sees Lila as a gift, not only for her companionship but as a window into another dimension of life.
ANY KNOWN BLOOD by Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes. Lawrence Hill conjures up five generations of strong and resilient black men, all named Langston Cane. Any Known Blood is narrated by Langston Cane V – son of a white mother and black father who embarks on a genealogical journey into the worlds of the Langston Canes who came before him. This is the story of the tragedies and victoria of five generations of a black Canadian family.
INDIAN HORSE is a difficult and beautiful novel by Canadian Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese. Saul Indian Horse, a former hockey star undergoing treatment for alcoholism, chronicles his life story as a way of identifying the foundation of his addiction. Wagamese has created a rich and nuanced portrayal of a grief that is hard to give voice to, because the pain was part of an intergenerational inheritance— Indian Residential Schools.