A possible title for the sesquicentennial –  “150 Ways to Leave Your Editor”

─ Tim Gordon

 


 

Away Game, by Bob Levin

An exploration of the often-fraught relationship between fathers and sons is at the heart of Bob Levin’s baseball-themed novel “Away Game”.

It’s the story of Hank Bauman who, through the magic of an old baseball board game, is transported from the present to 1955, to Game 7 of the Yankees-Dodgers World Series where his father rooted on his beloved Dodgers – before his accidental death later that day, when Hank was two years old. Or so the story goes. The reality turns out to be very different, and Hank sets off through the 1960s to track down his runaway father, who’s threatened for real this time.

Set largely in Middle America in the mid-1960s – as racial tensions and the Vietnam War are starting to unsettle the country – “Away Game” is about blacks and whites, past and present, love and longing, about the curious bonds of family despite decades of separation – about baseball as common ground.

 

 

Ordinary to Extraordinary, 150 stories as unique as the women who lived them

~AVAILABLE STARTING JUNE 21~

The stories document real life experiences of members of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO), as a project to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Ordinary to Extraordinary relates life from a woman’s point of view ranging from a single incident to a full life story; from ordinary life to tragic events; from the horrific to the humorous. Some recount the role of the Women’s Institute (WI) in their lives; their pride of accomplishments and community support.

 

Great Turtle Island, by Deirdre Berardi

Aurora Manchester has the best of all worlds. Born in the big city of Manhattan, she and her family move from New York to northern Michigan, where her father, an English professor and show business biographer, teaches at a college on a breathtaking island on Lake Huron. Her mother is a ballet teacher, much loved by her students, whom she equally adores. On the island, the three Manchester kids make friends with the grandchildren of neighbours who live nearby. In their adventures, an old barn becomes the starship Enterprise. The field down the road becomes a graveyard. They go hiking and explore caves. As they grow up, Aurora and her brothers make lifelong friendships and have lots of fun along the way… until the tragic day when their whole world falls apart.

 

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The Last of the Wild Rivers:  The Past, Present, and Future of the Rivière du Moine, by Wally Schaber

For four hundred years, the journals of all the great explorers of Canada have mentioned the Deux Joachims portage and the wild Rivière du Moine as they made their way west to discover riches, routes, or souls to save. The Du Moine is the last of the ten major Quebec tributaries of the Ottawa River to resist the development threats of hydro, mining, and modern colonization. Recent conservation efforts to preserve this last of the wild rivers as an aquatic reserve have met with mixed reviews by all those who would be affected, including the Algonquins of Wolf Lake–whose ancestors, the Du Moine River band, originally occupied the watershed.

Tom Thomson’s Last Bonfire, by Geoff Taylor

Two veteran guides are fishing on an Algonquin summer morning when they pull Tom Thomson’s waterlogged corpse from Canoe Lake. Taking him to a remote island, they stand vigil over their friend around the clock. The events of the next twenty-four hours have fuelled the speculation and intrigue surrounding Tom’s life and untimely demise for more than a century.

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Chaudière Falls:  A Novel of Dramatized History, by David Mulholland

On March 7, 1800, Philemon Wright, a farmer from Woburn, Massachusetts, arrives on the north shore of the Ottawa River in Hull Township. On September 1, 1860, on the south side of the river, Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Albert Edward, lays the cornerstone for Canada’s Parliament Buildings on Barrack Hill in Ottawa.

While the novel dramatizes the real events that unfold between those two dates—Wright’s determination to establish a community of farmers, the political scheming that results in Ottawa becoming Canada’s capital—it’s also the story of immigrants struggling for survival in a new world. Among them, Jedediah Jansen, who is ten years old when his family arrives with Wright’s party. Jed marries, enters the volatile timber business, is overwhelmed by both, and his life spirals out of control.

The settlers’ attempts to establish a peaceful community are further exacerbated when the government in York (Toronto) refuses to confer legal status on Bytown (Ottawa). And because its inhabitants resent Colonel By’s civil authority, the lawless settlement is rampant with self-serving politics, religious bigotry, and barbaric violence.

 


Provenance of the Stones, 
by Patricia Josefchak

Agatha Haggarty is young, beautiful, and a hag—as healers were called in the old country. It is the 1850s, and Aggie is on her way to the Province of Canada by sailing ship guided by a tale handed down to her from her mum. It’s an arduous month at sea and her adventures begin when she befriends Jen and Donnah, bunks with an orphan, and is shocked to discover that he is on board.

The seasoned, weary travelers land at the port of Quebec, and Aggie makes an unexpected decision. She and her companions travel together farther inland to Upper Canada, where their fortunes and adventures begin to weave together at Victoria’s Inn.

They combine their resources and settle in a cottage not far from Perth. It is a sturdy, modest log house with a large stone fireplace. Her mum had foretold, “…heed stones of hearth for secrets deep and search for stone of truths to keep…”

This is the Provenance of the Stones