These three new titles from Newfoundland’s Breakwater Books have something for everyone, from very young to a more mature audience.
The Secret of Bowring Park by Christine Gordon Manley (with illustrations by Laurel Keating) is a fairytale for all ages, not just children. It concerns two sisters, Natalie and her older sister Elizabeth. They are visiting Bowring Park in St. John’s where there is a statue of Peter Pan with other creatures embedded in the base. Natalie is young enough to have a vivid imagination, even talking to the animals in the sculpture and to Peter Pan himself. Elizabeth is bored and just wants to get home for supper. Just as they are leaving, Natalie sees one of the fairies in the base wink at her! But Elizabeth doesn’t believe her. Returning to the park just after sunset to retrieve Natalie’s stuffed toy dog Ruffles, she gets a big surprise when the statue is empty of all of its inhabitants! With beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Laurel Keating, this is a good addition to any child’s library.
Game by Joan Sullivan takes the reader back to 1974 when Newfoundland was celebrating 25 years as a province (it joined confederation in 1949). It was also the year a team of students from the island won the national championship of the popular TV show Reach for the Top by defeating a strong Alberta team. Ms. Sullivan has gathered all the major players, politicians and others to create a time capsule of a glorious moment in time for Newfoundlanders. Especially tense is the actual play-by-play of that episode with commentary interjected by the former students from both teams. A winner!
Here’s Part One of the actual Reach for the Top episode at YouTube:
Finally, Best Kind: Essays Edited by Robert Finley is a collection of essays (or creative non-fiction, if you will) by writers working in Newfoundland (including the above-mentioned Joan Sullivan) and are (or have been) participants in Memorial University’s Creative Writing Program.
Robert Finlay explains in the Introduction:
“The twelve essays in this book…..[have] been chosen for what they have to say, taken together, about this wonderful, varied, open, inclusive, old and new form of writing: the essay.”
These essays may not be in the old familiar style you may be expecting. Far from being long-winded diatribes on a given subject, these essays engage the reader in different ways, such as the haunting, sensuous Night Walk by Amy Donovan:
…and you think now, how it’s not just darkness. It’s this darkness. The shape of it, its densities and topographies. The weight of its air, the tastes of its scents, the tonal depths of its shadows.
Other contributors to this anthology include such Newfoundland authors as Bridget Canning (author of The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes), Eva Crocker and Paul Whittle, just to name of a few of the twelve writers featured here in Best Kind.
Breakwater Books was established in 1973 and was founded on the principle of preserving the unique culture and stories of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritime provinces.
*Please note if you choose to purchase any of these books through Amazon using the links below I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!