Grist by Linda Little

Back in High School English class, we had to read Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God, which I did enjoy reading, although looking back it might have been too mature a book for teenagers to study in depth. At any rate, any book with a strong and overburdened female living back in the late 1800s/early 1900s is fated to be compared with her beleaguered Manawaka heroines.… Continue reading

Formac’s Fiction Treasures Series

This week I received two novels in the Formac Fiction Treasure series: Under Sealed Orders by H.A. Cody and A Changed Heart by May Agnes Fleming.

Formac’s site explains the need for reprinting these all-but-forgotten classics from Canada’s past:

Though little known today, from 1860 to 1940 Canadian novelists from the Maritime provinces were writing highly successful books which were widely read in Canada, the US, and Britain.… Continue reading

Oatcakes and Courage by Joyce Grant-Smith

Oatcakes and Courage (2013, Quattro) by Joyce Grant-Smith was the 2013 co-winner of the Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. It’s 125 pages are filled with the tense, realistic story of a small ship (the Hector) of Scottish migrants bound for Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773.

Synopsis

Among the passengers is Anne Grant, who is escaping a marriage arranged by her father to a man she does not love or is even attracted to.… Continue reading

Three Million Acres of Flame by Valerie Sherrard

Three Million Acres of Flame (2007, Dundurn Press) is a historical novel by Miramichi author Valerie Sherrard. It tells the story of young Skye Haverill and her family and friends against the backdrop of the Great Miramichi Fire of 1825, one of the largest forest fires ever recorded in North American history.

Synopsis

Fourteen year old Skye Haverill and her family are living near Newcastle, on the north side of the Miramichi River when, on October 7th, a large forest fire advances on the community overtaking homes, livestock and humans as the extremely dry conditions that summer assist in the rapid spread of the fire.… Continue reading