Finalists have been announced for the Scéal Book Awards, which highlight and honour those authors whose stories strike a chord, give the reader goosebumps and make the reader laugh, cry and fall in love with the characters. The awards finalists were chosen from among all the books reviewed on the Books & Benches website in 2016. The winners will be announced the first week of April.
A Splendid Boy, by Melanie Martin begins in the summer of 1914, when Daniel Beresford’s innocent love affair with the merchant’s daughter is discovered, forcing him to make an impossible decision to save his family from financial ruin. When news of the First World War reaches Middle Tickle Daniel, who is torn between his love for Emma Tavenor and his responsibility to his family, enlists in the Newfoundland Regiment and departs for training. When Emma learns her father is to blame for Daniel’s unexplained departure, she follows him to England, hoping they’ll be reunited. Yet on the voyage, she discovers the regiment has been called up and is already engaged in battle. She realizes her only hope of finding Daniel is to join the Voluntary Aid Detachment and make her way to the Western Front.
Author Melanie Martin was born on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has a master’s degree in Newfoundland history from Memorial University and has contributed to historical journals, websites, anthologies and educational textbooks on significant events in Newfoundland and Labrador’s turbulent social and political history. Her interest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s role in the First World War has been ongoing since her first visit to Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont-Hamel, France, in 2006. Since then she has visited all the sites significant to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in France, Belgium and Turkey. Melanie works for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and leads the First World War commemorations file, Honour 100.