By Val RossiPutting the pen down was never an option for Rossland writer Rosa Jordan, especially once the Monashee Mountains further crept into her creativity over three decades ago.“What Rossland did do was give me the stability of a place that finally felt like home and also felt free,” said Jordan. “It was that stability that allowed me to sit still (and enjoy it) enough to write books.”The 71-year-old began her career as a journalist and travel writer before moving to Canada from Florida and finding her home in 1974. One drive through Rossland – a town she’d never heard of – and Jordan bought a house the next morning.
Although it shouldn’t be, forgiveness is an imperfect value. It requires itchy self-examination in both giving and receiving, and it needs perpetual re-examination to stay affirmed.
So it is for Robin, the cranky 50-year-old widow and estranged mother in West Coast author Peggy Herring’s first novel, This Innocent Corner.
Set in the months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the novel follows Robin as she returns to Dhaka, where she had spent a year in the early 1970s, living with a family as an exchange student. That was a tumultuous year for Bangladesh, as it strove to break away from its bonds as East Pakistan.
Vancouver Island resident, lifelong equestrian and former family therapist Susan Ketchen draws on her considerable knowledge base and her passions for Made That Way, the follow-up to her first young-adult novel, Born That Way. It’s an engaging coming-of-age story that explores difference and personal growth through a variety of lenses. . .
“This is a fine novel about trying to love, trying to forgive, and trying to build something perfect: a trapeze glide from the comic into the tragic and back to a place of balance in between. A pleasure in three sure-handed parts.”
The “immigrant experience” may never have been told so entertainingly or convincingly as it is in this story of a German Mennonite family adjusting to life in western Canada. The final installment of this story will make you want to read the whole lovely, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking book again, armed with new insight gained from a painful glimpse at the past. This is an important story, beautifully told.”
“This family portrait, written with love and compassion, is a masterpiece.”
“At first, Renovating Heaven lulls the reader into the nostalgic comfort of hilarious family memories, but the accumulated gathering of comic events adds up to a tragic portrait of people displaced by history, stifled by exaggerated belief systems, buoyed up and crushed by faith and love. Andreas Schroeder is a liar and a rascal indeed.”
"Ketchen’s writing is fast-paced, compelling and full of surprises. Made That Way can be read in one sitting, but Sylvia’s persistence and creativity in overcoming her life’s challenges will inspire the reader for a lifetime."
Join Betty Jane in this insightful interview with Lee Kvern.
Click here to watch Rosa discuss Far From Botany Bay and read a short passages from the book. Rosa Jordan Video
Read Whitney Moran's review and interview with Leslie on Arts East.
"A ‘gulf’ can be thought of as something that separates - a division on either a geographical or even personal scale. A fitting title for her first poetry collection, Leslie Vryenhoek’s Gulf (Oolichan Books, 80pp /$17.95) explores the permanent state of transience and quest for sanctuary implicit in the life of anyone who has never safely used the word ‘home’."
Lupins, moose and dandelions are among the non-native species Leslie Vryenhoek uses to work out a poetic math equation in her new collection, Gulf.
"The Sum of Come From Aways," she writes via email from Newfoundland, "was one of those blessed, rare poems that tumbled virtually whole into my head late one night and managed to survive the scribbling down. . .