Pink Chimneys by Ardeana Hamlin

Pink Chimneys could well be the quintessential “Maine” historic novel in that it describes life in the Bangor region in the early 1800s when the city was being developed as a primary port for shipping and other businesses. Originally released in 1987, Islandport Press has released the 30th-anniversary edition of Pink Chimneys with a new forward by the author, who states:

“I don’t know what has given Pink Chimneys its longevity, but I believe readers find in the story something that moves them, that makes them care about Maude, Fanny and Elizabeth…..Something in the story stirs in readers a sense of historical place, particularly as it concerns women and the Bangor region.Continue reading “Pink Chimneys by Ardeana Hamlin”

Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan

Newfoundlander Carolyn Morgan has published her first novel, Art Love Forgery (2016, Flanker Press) and fans of historical fiction and romance will certainly appreciate this fine book. It is based on a singular incident in nineteenth-century colonial Newfoundland history when Polish artist (and convicted forger) Alexander Pindikowsky was tasked with beautifying some of St. John’s most important buildings, including Government House, home to the colony’s Lieutenant Governor.… Continue reading “Art Love Forgery by Carolyn Morgan”

Desperation: The Queen of Swansea by Gary Collins

Desperation: The Queen of Swansea won a 2017 The Very Best! Book Award for Fictionalized History.

storyteller and prolific author Gary Collins hails from Newfoundland and his previous book, Left to Die concerned the tragic death of 78 seal hunters on an ice floe in 1914. For his eleventh book Desperation: The Queen of Swansea (2016, Flanker Press), Mr Collins has gone back to the year 1867 to interpret another tragic maritime event, the shipwreck of the brig Queen of Swansea on Gull Island and the eventual death of all crew and passengers, either aboard ship or on the barrenness of lonely Gull Island bereft of anything slightly edible or drinkable.… Continue reading “Desperation: The Queen of Swansea by Gary Collins”

Prisoner of Warren by Andreas Oertel

World War II Internment Camp B70, better known as Ripples Internment Camp is a little-known part of New Brunswick (and Atlantic Canada) history. Located near the mining town of Minto, the camp existed from 1940-45. Little of it exists today; a concrete structure that supported a wooden water tower is the only permanent part of the camp still there. There is a walking trail through the area where the camp existed, and the Minto town hall hosts a museum containing hundreds of camp artefacts.… Continue reading “Prisoner of Warren by Andreas Oertel”

A Splendid Boy by Melanie Martin

Since it has been one hundred years since the Battle of the Somme in WWI, there have been numerous books produced, both fiction and non-fiction that deal with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and its heavy involvement in the Great War. A Splendid Boy (2016, Flanker Press) by Melanie Martin is a fine example of the type of historical fiction Flanker Press produces.

Synopsis

A Splendid War is about an adolescent love between a merchant’s daughter (Emma Tavenor) and a poor fisherman’s son (Daniel Beresford) that is torn apart by not only Emma’s father’s disapproval (with which he punishes Daniel’s father who is heavily in debt to him) but by the war, which Daniel uses as an excuse to make a clean break from Emma, for he has promised Mr.… Continue reading “A Splendid Boy by Melanie Martin”

Found Far and Wide by Kevin Major

Governor General Award-winning author Kevin Major has written a sweeping historical saga of under 300 pages; one that is easily worthy of two or three times that many. Found Far and Wide (2016, Breakwater Books) tells the story of Sam Kennedy from the outport village of Harbour Main where he lives with his father and sister (his mother died when he was very young) and his life’s adventures when he decides to strike out on his own, more or less to escape the meagre life of a fisherman that his father has managed to eke out.… Continue reading “Found Far and Wide by Kevin Major”

The Glory Wind & Rain Shadow by Valerie Sherrard

Miramichi's resident young people's author Valerie Sherrard has had many of her books shortlisted and awarded in various categories, and The Glory Wind and Rain Shadow are no exceptions. I am reviewing these middle-grade reader books together since they both take place in the fictional town of Junction, Manitoba in the mid 1940s, and Rain Shadow compliments some of the story lines in The Glory Wind, so for the most emotional impact, The Glory Wind should be read first, but this is by no means a requirement.

This Marlowe by Michelle Butler Hallett

The time: Elizabethan England in 1593. The Reformation is past, but protestant England cannot relax, fearful that Catholics will try to take the throne after Elizabeth dies (or is assassinated), since she has no successor. Due to this fact, the Queen keeps trusted advisers close to her whose role is to gather intelligence as they fear for the Queen's life at every turn. Christopher Marlowe.......