Last week I made a few suggestions of books to buy for the young (at heart) person on your list, but I really think it’s only fair that I mention some homegrown adult fiction books this time.
1.Devil’s Hump by Syr Ruus. I have my own signed copy of this book that I shall treasure forever. The book can be purchased at Coles in Bridgewater, the Lahave Bakery, the Riverhouse in Petite Reviere or directly from the author- Syr (at)eastlink.ca . The winter of 1921 turned bad for all the Islanders, bringing one unexpected thing after another… beginning with the -quarantine, then the discovery f the deaths of the entire Ross family, followed by the fire and the acquittal of the Turnbull brothers. The storm of talk hadn’t even reached full crest, when a new development ensued. Devil’s Hump depicts the unique and disappearing culture of a maritime island community. It tells the story of Aaron Ross who, in spite of devastating circumstances, is able to survive alone on a small secluded island. But more than this, it celebrates the power of the human imagination which can shape our lives and make even the most difficult situations bearable.
2.The Deception of Livvy Higgs by Donna Morrissey. I also have a signed copy of Donna’s book . For two traumatic days, Livvy Higgs is besieged by a series of small heart attacks while the ghost of her younger self leads her back through a past devastated by lies and secrets. The story opens in Halifax in 2009, travels back to the French Shore of Newfoundland during the mid-thirties and the heyday of the Maritime shipping industry, makes its way to wartorn Halifax during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II, then leaps ahead to the bedside of the elder Livvy. Caught between a troubled past, and her present and worsening living conditions, Livvy is forced to pick apart the lies and secrets told by her greedy, prideful father, Durwin Higgs, who judges her a failure, and her formidable Grandmother Creed, who has mysteriously aligned herself with Livvy”s father, despite their mutual hatred. Tending to Livvy during her illness is her young next-door neighbor Gen, a single mother and social-work student. Overnight, a violent scene embroils the two in each other”s lives in a manner that will entwine them forever. In The Deception of Livvy Higgs, the inimitable Morrissey has written a powerful tale, the Stone Angel of the East Coast.
3.The Virgin Cure by Ami MacKay Set on the streets of Lower Manhattan in 1871, The Virgin Cure is the story of Moth, a girl abandoned by her father and raised by a mother telling fortunes to the city’s desperate women. One summer night, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. It is this betrayal suffered at the hands of her own mother that changes her life forever. Knowing that her mother is so close while she is locked away in servitude, Moth bides her time until she can escape, only to find her old home deserted and her mother gone without a trace. Moth must struggle to survive alone in the murky world of the Bowery, a wild and lawless enclave filled with thieves, beggars, sideshow freaks, and prostitutes. She eventually meets Miss Everett, the proprietress of an “Infant School,” a brothel that caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for “willing and clean” companions—desirable young virgins like Moth. Moth also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice, who teaches Moth to question and observe the world around her. The doctor hopes to protect Moth from falling prey to a terrible myth known as the “virgin cure”—the tragic belief that deflowering a “fresh maid” can cleanse the blood and heal men afflicted with syphilis—that has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls. Ignored by society, unprotected by the law, Moth dreams of independence. But there’s a high price to pay for freedom, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.
4.Nova Scotia: Life Near Water by Diane Lynn McGyver . So you all know I’m a littl partial to the short story, having penned few in my day. Life Near Water is a collection of short stories that transports readers to locations across Nova Scotia and on a short vacation to the coastal waters of Newfoundland. McGyver’s love for the sea shines in The Ocean Between Them, and her keen interest in genealogy and history plays interesting rolls in The Man Who Reads Obituaries, Dancing in the Shine and War on His Shore. McGyver’s quick wit takes centre stage in Miss Tuttle’s Lemon Tarts where neighbours bond over a cup of tea. Mutated Blood Lines beams readers into the future to a time when high water levels transform Nova Scotia into an island. Nova Scotia – Life Near Water is McGyver’s first anthology. For information about where you can order this book click HERE
5. Kiss the Joy as it Flies by Sheree Fitch. Oh yes, this beloved children’s writer also writes for adults. Panic-stricken by the news that she needs exploratory surgery, forty-eight-year-old Mercy Beth Fanjoy drafts a monumental to-do list and sets about putting her messy life in order. But tidying up the edge of her life means the past comes rushing back to haunt her and the present keeps throwing up more to-dos. Between fits of weeping and laughter, ranting and bliss, Mercy must contemplate the meaning of life in the face of her own death. In a week filled with the riot of an entire life, nothing turns out the way she expected.
Again, I’ll ask for any suggestions you might have to add to my list. My hope is that these two posts will encourage you to check out these books and to think about supporting the local authors in your area. Many of us talk about “buying local” it’s only natural that it should apply to books!