A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel

“Generals, colonels, majors, and captains have all written books about the First World War, but in the years that have since come and gone, I have never read or even heard of one that was written by a sergeant, a corporal, or a private, the lowly common front-line foot soldier.”

are the words of Private Arthur.W. Manuel who served in the First World War (or the “Great War” as it was then known) with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 1914-1919.… Continue reading

Escape Hatch by Gerhard P. Bassler

, Newfoundland & Labrador has had a colourful history, from fishing to a strategic WWII port to today’s tourism business. However, a little-known slice of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) history (outside of the province, that is) is that of Premier Joey Smallwood’s attempt to diversify NL’s industrial base outside of fishing and logging by attracting post-WWII German industries and German immigrants to Canada’s newest province. Smallwood’s plan was an “escape hatch” for German industries fearing what Soviet Russia may have in store, by coming to Canada.… Continue reading

Adventures of a Grenfell Nurse by Rosalie M. Lombard

here is a meme floating around the Internet that states: “Don’t live the same year 75 times over and call it a life”. For at least two years of her substantial life (born in 1927, she is still alive as of this writing), Rosalie Lombard could not be accused of any sort of repetition as she served as a nurse for the Grenfell Mission in St.… Continue reading

As Fierce as Steel (Gold & Steel Saga) by Christopher Walsh

First-time novelist Christopher Walsh has penned a formidable fantasy novel in Fierce as Steel (2016), the first instalment in the Gold & Steel saga set in the country of Illiastra where revolution is brewing against the wealthy and all-controlling Elite Merchant Party (EMP) and the Triarchists, the sole ‘official’ state-sanctioned religion. The principal revolutionaries are the Thieves, led by the elusive Lady Orangecloak, whose mission is to “steal back freedom” for the oppressed.… Continue reading

The Inward Journey by Kate Evans

“Spin me back down the years and the days of my youth
Draw the lace and black curtains and shut out the whole truth
Spin me down the long ages: let them sing the song.” – Ian Anderson

Sylvia Drodge of St. John’s NL (the former Sylvia Bolfe-Carter of Ireland) has been temporarily relegated to a senior’s residence, thanks to failing eyesight and a fall that resulted in a fractured hip.… Continue reading

Jack Fitzgerald’s Treasury of Newfoundland Stories, Volume II: Amazing and Strange

Jack Fitzgerald’s Treasury of Newfoundland Stories, Volume II: Amazing and Strange is a substantial collection of tales from times long forgotten. They include yarns of Newfoundland’s people and places, happenings and things, ranging from the extraordinary and remarkable to the bizarre, uncanny and fantastic. Especially appealing is the Christmas section which includes spine-tingling tales of spooks and spectres. These stories have been gathered from archival materials, old newspapers and magazines, and from the oral traditions in communities throughout the province.… Continue reading

The Illustrated Ode to Labrador by Dr. Harry Paddon with additional text by Robin McGrath

The Illustrated Ode to Labrador is a new treatment of Dr. Harry Paddon’s beloved anthem. Artist Geoff Butler has produced twenty-five vibrant original paintings that feature the various people and regions of The Big Land, executed in oil paint. The introduction by author Robin McGrath outlines the history of the Ode and the life of Dr. Paddon, and in a series of thumbnail vignettes, she puts Butler’s paintings into a cultural and geographic context that amounts to a mini-tour of the Eastern Ungava.… Continue reading

Weaving Water by Annamarie Beckel

Author (and former St. John resident) Annamarie Beckel once conducted behavioural research on river otters* for her doctoral thesis and her fourth novel, Weaving Water (2016, Killick Press) is about Beth, a fiftyish woman who teaches Biology at a university but longs to get back into research, specifically river otters. Her husband Alan is a veterinarian and has just come into ownership of a dilapidated cottage once owned by his Aunt Kathleen on Medicine Rock Pond, about a four-hour drive from St.… Continue reading