A Lark for Anne fans: Dartmouth Book Exchange’s top 5 books from our Holiday Guide
The manager of Dartmouth Book Exchange, Sue Slade, shares her top five picks from our 2022 Holiday Book Gift Guide. Find the DBE online and on Facebook.
Nosy Parker by Lesley Crewe. Nimbus Publishing.
I really enjoyed Nosy Parker, by Lesley Crewe. Set in Montreal in 1967, it is a story about 12-year-old Audrey Parker’s coming-of-age experiences and her social adjustments, such as moving into a new community and attending new schools. Being raised by a single, middle-aged dad who owns a publishing company, Audrey is a complete delight. I dearly love her ‘Women I Admire Notebook’ and her interpretations of what goes on around her. If you have enjoyed Lesley Crewe’s previous emotion-tugging stories, then you will not be disappointed in this one.
This is it, Lark Harnish by Laura Best. Nimbus Publishing.
Set in 1919 rural Nova Scotia This is it, Lark Harnish was a fun middle-grade novel. Lark, who is a very chatty 13 year old, reminds me of the famous Anne with an ‘e’, and should Anne’s circumstances have been different, she could have been Lark. After her father passes away, Lark goes to work for Mrs. McMaster to help pay down the grocery bills. Mrs. McMaster runs the local post office out of her home and looks after her grandchildren, as her daughter-in-law passed when her youngest grandson was born. Mrs. McMaster reminds me of Marilla in the Green Gables stories; very stern, rigid, and unsmiling at the beginning of the story. She even has the nosy and gossipy neighbour.
The Lonely Little Lighthouse by Lana Shupe. Nimbus Publishing.
I had the honour of listening to Lana Shupe read her debut picture book The Lonely Little Lighthouse at Word Play, a literary festival for children of all ages. As she read, I was glued to each word of the story and I will admit, I had to battle back the tears upon its completion. Once I was home I read the book for myself, amazed at the beautiful illustrations by Marla Lesage. I very much enjoyed the facts and history of Nova Scotia lighthouses that were included in the back of the book. It’s an amazing yet emotional picture book for ALL ages, depicting an important part of Nova Scotia’s heritage. The Lonely Little Lighthouse would make a wonderful addition to any child’s home library.
Decoding Dot Grey by Nicola Davison. Nimbus Publishing.
Decoding Dot Grey by Nicola Davison is a charming story set in Halifax/Dartmouth in 1997. Dot is an 18-year-old girl who works at an animal shelter teeming with unique and diverse personalities, from the animals to the staff and volunteers. At the beginning of the story, Dot rescues a crow that was hit by a car, damaging its wing. We then learn that her mother was also hit by a car the year before and has not regained consciousness. This story is all about relationships, the diversity in dealing with grief, healing (both mentally and physically), and forgiveness.
Birth Road by Michelle Wamboldt. Nimbus Publishing.
Birth Road by Michelle Wamboldt is a page-turning historical fiction novel depicting the life of Helen from 1921 to 1946 and set mostly in Nova Scotia, with a short period of time spent in Boston. Despite the fact that this is a historical fiction novel, I felt that it realistically portrayed life in Nova Scotia during this time period. I really enjoyed hearing of skates coming from Starr Manufacturing and the people taking on jobs at Stanfield’s in Truro. People who love local history will enjoy this novel.
Find these books and many more local titles, visit the Dartmouth Book Exchange: 1187 Cole Harbour Road, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. You can also reach them by phone at 902-435-1207, by email at email@example.com, or send them a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.