Monday, 19 March 2012

Canadian Bookworm Book Review

A lovely review of To the Edge of the Sea by librarian Shonna

see her Review and Blog here

To The Edge of the Sea

Finished March 16
To the Edge of the Sea by Anne McDonald
This short novel is lyrical and flows between four characters. Set in the summer and fall of 1864, this book begins in PEI and takes us across the Canadas to Niagara Falls. Two young men in PEI, brothers, Alex and Reggie are very different. Reggie, the oldest, is seasick every time he goes out on his father's fishing boat, yet he is the responsible one, the one who asks before he acts. Alex is impulsive and a natural fisherman. When a circus comes to the island, Alex leaves in the night to go to town to see it. He is drawn to the actions of the highwire performers and follows them beyond his island home. Reggie is changed by Alex's disappearance and makes choices in his own life that change his life forever.

At the same time, the leaders of Upper and Lower Canada come to PEI to try to get agreement to form a nation. This is the start of a road trip from the island across the Canadas and we see things from the eyes of John A Macdonald himself and the eyes of Mercy, daughter of PEI delegate George Coles, a young woman both drawn and repelled by John A.
This is a journey, and a discovery and a leaving.
Mercy leaves behind her younger, more innocent self. John A leaves behind part of himself as a cost to forming a new country. Alex leaves behind his island home and family. Reggie leaves a life he was born into, but not without cost. From Canadian history to the famous Farinis, this novel explores change and a sense of inevitability. Very enjoyable.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Saskatchewan Book Award Shortlist

To the Edge of the Sea has just been shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Book Award!

The big gala is Saturday April 28, 2012 in Regina.

Find all the info on the shortlist and the gala here.

I'll be participating in the Sask Book Awards Shortlist Reading in Moose Jaw on Wed April 4 - more info at the same link above.

And at interview with short listed Regina writers, including me
here and below.

The Sask. Book Awards recognize writers of poetry, scholarly works, fiction, non-fiction, children's literature and aboriginal books, along with publishers. The award ceremony is scheduled for April 28 at the Conexus Arts Centre.
       Awards Chair Barbara Shourounis stressed the importance of recognizing authors from Saskatchewan.
    "Having your counterparts, your fellow writers, choose your work as the best is a very rewarding experience," she said.
"I think there's something about Saskatchewan that brings out introspection and the creative process, because we do have a lot of very successful writers from this province.
"It also gives young writers something to look forward to."
      Anne McDonald, who moved to Regina from Toronto 12 years ago, said Saskatchewan has positively influenced her writing career. 
    McDonald's book, To The Edge of the Sea, is nominated in the First Book Award category. It is set during the Canadian Confederation conferences of 1864, including intertwining stories.
"When I came here there were all of these writers and artists that were living their lives as writers and artists," McDonald said.
For a full list of nominees, visit
Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson (scholarly writing, aboriginal writing, Regina book, non-fiction); Wilfred Burton and Anne Patton (Regina book); Edward Willett (Regina book); Britt Holmstrom (Regina book, fiction); Alison Lohans (Regina book, children's literature); David Sauchyn, Harry Diaz and Suren Kulshreshtha (scholarly writing); Adam Pottle (poetry, first book); Judith Silverthorne (children's literature); Timothy Long (non-fiction); CPRC Press/University of Regina (publishing, aboriginal publishing, education publishing); Coteau Books (publishing, education publishing); Haglos Press (publishing); Nature Saskatchewan (publishing).