Happy birthday to the most beautiful place on Earth! Here are some great reads that are set in our wonderful country.
Set in the 1920s and 30s, The Curve of Time tells the true story of a widowed woman who put her five children on a 25 foot boat and sailed through the islands and coastline of BC, summer after summer. This memoir is full of natural history tidbits of the Pacific Northwest, information on the Haida culture, and beautiful prose which celebrates nature and the sea.
A Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on the shores of Cortez Island, and thus begins A Tale for the Time Being. Half set in Japan and half in BC, Ozeki fills the pages with the story of a young girl who is bullied and lonely, and draws on themes such as Zen Buddhism to create an emotionally stirring and beautiful novel.
There is a town in the Yukon where people hide from their pasts, and Casey and Diana need to find it. The thrilling story of two women on the run, City of the Lost is the first book in a 6 part series by Armstrong. Full of mystery and suspense, City of the Lost is sure to keep you captivated!
Are small town stories and character-driven plot lines your thing? Set in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Crozier’s memoir captures what life was like in a small town with one street, and the poverty and alcoholism ingrained in the town where she was raised. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time, this book deals with family issues and growing up in rural Canada.
Many months of research went into this incredible depiction of immigrant life in Toronto in the 1930s. Ondaatje read through the city’s archives and old newspapers to ensure he accurately portrayed the true events worked into this story line. In the Skin of a Lion is the story of the brutally difficult work immigrants did of tunneling under Lake Ontario, building bridges, and logging which created the foundation of the city of Toronto. Ondaatje’s masterpiece has been called ‘mesmeric’ and ‘hallucinatory’ by readers, and is sure to give a new perspective on one of Canada’s most famous cities.
Ru is autobiographical fiction, and the story of a Canadian woman of Vietnamese origin whose family settled in Quebec as refugees. Moving back and forth through time and memory, Ru documents snapshots of their sometimes beautiful and sometimes horrible journey and the lives they built at the end.
Toronto, Cape Breton Island, and the mines of Northern Ontario are important locales for the characters in MacLeod’s novel. Dealing with family, from the present day all the way back to Scottish clans in the 1700s, No Great Mischief is a great work by one of Canada’s best novelists.
Happy reading, and an even happier Canada Day!
By Jen Streckmann, NVCL Practicum Student