Check out which local Atlantic books were flying off the shelves in August.
Simon and Schuster
Even after a century, with most of its survivors deceased, the 1917 Halifax Explosion continues to grip writers’ imaginations. Books on the disaster proliferate, and while non-fiction resurrects and re-examines its facts from various angles, it can’t go where fiction does, re-envisioning the event and exploring its impact on the human heart and mind.
“Fiction is the poor man’s non-fiction,” someone recently said to me (someone who should’ve known better)—a joke that did not sit well. Fiction is a passport to empathy. Fiction allows us to investigate the unknowable, the questions behind unacceptable realities that nag long after the facts get put to bed. Realities like human error and stupidity and the fact that tragedies befall innocents. Fiction lets us explore the mysteries behind suffering.
So it’s no surprise that since Hugh MacLennan’s great-grandad of Explosion novels, Barometer Rising, appeared in 1941, the disaster’s shock waves keep on inspiring novelists. At least eight novels for adults have followed MacLennan’s, including one by American bestselling author Anita Shreve, while still others—Ami MacKay’s The Birth House, for instance—feature the event in stories set in its era. Children’s authors have tackled it in shorter works, such as Joan Payzant’s Who’s a Scaredy Cat and Sharon Gibson Palermo’s I Am Hilda Burrows. All draw documented facts into their narratives while seeking not some impossible resolution, but a truthful “lesson” about people’s resilience and kindness—qualities that ensured Halifax’s survival.
It’s no accident that many—besides those for younger readers, including Julie Lawson’s new YA novel, A Blinding Light and Steven Laffoley’s A Halifax Christmas Carol—take MacLennan’s cue and frame the disaster narrative with a love story, tenderness fraught by Great War grief compounded by the Explosion’s. Dazzle Patterns, a compelling new novel by Nanaimo writer and visual artist Alison Watt, follows MacLennan’s romantic lead. So do Genevieve Graham’s Tides of Honour (2015) and Jon Tattrie’s Black Snow (2009). The mix of love and death makes for capital-D drama, no question.
Others offer their share of love (and lust)—Robert MacNeil’s Burden of Desire (1998), Laffoley’s The Blue Tattoo (2014) and my novel, Glass Voices (2007)—while focusing more on the disaster’s longer-term social and psychological repercussions. These books consider the Explosion’s shattering of colonial attitudes about class and the fledgling emancipation of women, and, in the case of Glass Voices, the struggle to rebuild lives stricken with survivor’s guilt.
This angle reflects the fact—recognized by Janet Kitz, who preserves survivors’ stories in her nonfiction work Shattered City—that, for many, enduring their losses meant epressing memories of the event. Shifting social attitudes, especially about women’s roles as the First World War robbed the world of men, are front and centre in this Fall’s many Explosion-based offerings.
Laffoley’s Christmas Carol features an intrepid girl reporter, while Watt’s Dazzle Patterns and Lawson’s A Blinding Light are deeply informed by their female protagonists’—Clare Holmes’s and Livy Schneider’s, respectively—growing awareness of and resistance to oppressive norms about women that are rooted in class. In Lawson’s expertly woven story, the vividly drawn distance between Halifax’s snooty South End ladies and working-class North End women forms a pivotal point in the plot when the Mont Blanc explodes.
Lawson, based in Victoria, BC, is no stranger to her subject matter, having explored it previously in No Safe Harbour: The Halifax Explosion Diary of Charlotte Blackburn, part of a YA history series. Laffoley, who lives in Halifax, proves equally adept here (as he did in his earlier novel), at recreating the setting and milieu so familiar to all of us who know the city’s peninsula and its history. His story brings its hospitals, waterfront and old downtown Herald building to life as its events unfold during the weeks after the disaster.
The settings in Dazzle Patterns—which follows several perspectives including that of Clare’s fiancé, Leo, fighting in the trenches overseas, and of German émigré Fred Baker aka Friedrich Bacher—shift repeatedly from various Halifax locations to Clare’s parents’ farm in the Annapolis Valley and to locations on France’s Western Front, and eventually to an internment camp for German prisoners in Amherst, NS. It’s an ambitious narrative which, for me anyway, comes to life most vividly in its rendering of Leo’s war experiences and Clare’s studies at Halifax’s Victoria School of Art (NSCAD’s predecessor). Taking a refreshing new angle in tackling the Explosion’s after-effects, Watt dramatizes art making as her protagonist’s means of overcoming post-Explosion stress disorder.
The Great War, that mother of disasters and of Halifax’s, is as important as the characters in Laffoley’s and Watt’s books. Its wreckage makes the Explosion’s feel secondary, though in both the Explosion is the incendiary device that sets everything off. The most affecting parts of A Halifax Christmas Carol detail, through the perspective of hard-boiled journalist Michael Bell, the physical injuries sustained by men lucky enough to return from the Front as the 1918 influenza pandemic waits in the wings. Laffoley’s tale pitches the suffering that took place locally against suffering on a global scale, encapsulating its effects in the person of an elusive boy—a homeless orphan who, despite losing a leg in the Explosion, strives to help other injured, parentless children.
Watt’s main character in Dazzle Patterns, Clare, loses an eye in the disaster. Her injury impels her to take relief in laudanum and, fighting addiction, in the regenerative process of drawing and painting. All the while lamenting Leo, who goes missing in the trenches, she befriends Fred, a craftsman at the glassworks factory where she’s working as a flaw-checker when the Explosion hits. As Clare loses, or finds, herself in art—instructed by the school’s real-life principal, Arthur Lismer—Fred turns his hand to making glass eyes, a coveted commodity in 1918.
Dazzle Patterns relies on metaphor in ways the other books avoid, its title riffing on Lismer’s paintings of camouflaged warships. Of all the writers, Watt takes the greatest liberties with the facts as we identify them. The Nova Scotia Glass Company existed, for instance, but was located in New Glasgow; imagine the injuries if it had been on Halifax’s waterfront. But, one hundred years later, who’s to quibble? It’s the novelist’s license to shape her material. Interestingly enough, though, despite its import the Blast itself is given short shrift, its fateful moments given as a flat iteration of details we know all too well, having heard them many times before. No doubt aware of this, Watt sacrifices their drama in order to heighten the quieter, if wrenching, moments later on when her characters’ lives threaten to implode.
Dazzle Patterns exposes three main challenges any Explosion novelist faces: knowing if and when factual details are familiar enough, or too familiar, to readers; understanding how many liberties can be taken with what’s actual; and figuring out where in the story to position an event so forceful it sucks the air out of most everything else. A local writer married to the facts, I had no trouble with the first two; it was the third that gave me a hard time, the incendiary moment itself eventually becoming my story’s climax.
Throughout her book, Watt provides factual information, which most local readers will already know but readers less familiar with the Explosion will find to be crucial. The bigger problem is how she often uses dialogue to present it, resulting in a wooden effect that limits the appeal of certain characters to our sympathies. Others come off as preachy, especially Lismer’s character, based on the famous Group of Seven member.
It’s unfortunate because, for Watt’s fiction to be fully convincing, we need to believe his espousals of art’s power not just to heal the wounded psyche, but also to replace brutality with beauty. Clare’s words, luckily, are more plainspoken: “I had hallucinations after the explosion, a side effect of losing my eye. The only way I could endure them was by drawing them.” It’s in Watt’s descriptions of Clare’s art classes, particularly in life drawing—written clearly and truthfully from Watt’s artist’s perspective—that Dazzle Patterns shines.
Art takes a critical place in Laffoley’s A Halifax Christmas Carol, too. With typical directness, while searching clippings for help in locating the mysterious orphan, his characters Michael and Tess Archer, Bell’s female counterpart at the newspaper, debate the merits of art over reportage. “I just think art, not facts, is the way to understand truth,” says Tess. Michael argues, “This truth is undiluted. The facts line up in only one way, like puzzle pieces snapping into place. When they click together, you have the full picture. You have truth…the truth is born of these collected facts. No other truth can apply.”
Tess, the more sympathetic of the two, gets the last word: “I don’t see it that way. You choose the facts that suit the narrative you are chasing.”
Exactly—and you have to like how Laffoley lays it out. Still, I think the Explosion throws up certain boundaries. Its magnitude remains fixed: I’m not sure knowingly glossing or embroidering its horrific details serves anyone. Perhaps MacLennan had it easiest, writing when the Explosion was a novelist’s virgin terrain. Sticking to the available facts, as a chronicle of events leading up to, during and following the blast, Barometer Rising retains its immediacy.
Lawson has chosen wisely in taking a similar approach in A Blinding Light. Her nuanced telling keeps us on edge, hoping moment by moment that her characters will survive against the odds, wondering whether or not they’ll recover from their gruesome yet understated injuries. Mirroring MacLennan, Lawson provides the perfect build-up to the event, quickly drawing us into the lives of her characters—twelve-year-old Livy, her teenaged brother Will and their widowed mother—enlisting our sympathy as they adjust to losing their father the previous May. Not a detail is wasted; nothing feels untrue or fabricated, everything placed to further reveal these youthful characters and their hopes, strengths and weaknesses, as well as their engagement in a milieu that underpins what takes place.
We fear for everyone’s safety, root for their capacity to endure and recognize Livy’s dawning social conscience when she wonders, “How did I survive?”and is told by the family’s maid, Kathleen, “I don’t know. But you did. Now you have to make it matter.”
Lawson’s economy in creating a layered and utterly convincing story makes it appealing to readers of all ages. The War and its climate of anti-German hysteria form a subtle backdrop, raised by the mystery that surrounds Ernst Schneider’s—Livy and Will’s German-born father’s—death at sea. Suspicions around his activities dramatize the paranoia that arose about German nationals being spies, amid rumours that Germans caused the Explosion. At the inquiry that soon followed the disaster, the urge to lay blame and find scapegoats adds further tension to Livy and Will’s story in this thoughtful interweaving of fiction and fact.
Balancing what we know and respect in a quantitative way to be true with what we imagine and hope to convey as deeper truth is always a tricky task. The task may get trickier as the Explosion continues to gain notoriety beyond Atlantic Canada and among readers only vaguely acquainted with it. It’s still astonishing how many people know little or nothing about it and are shocked to discover its details, despite the fact that these are documented extensively online. A decade ago, when Glass Voices came out, I was floored to meet readers from the rest of Canada and the United States who had never heard of it. Most were anxious to know more—perhaps in the wake of that other North American catastrophe, 9/11, whose cost in human lives was similar, though its cause was different. Human evil versus human error, stupidity or frailty, call it what you like, the consequences for victims and their families were, and remain, grotesquely comparable.
Its impact aside, the Explosion remains a source of fascination, even an obsession, because it has all the ingredients of legend, a saga with undying appeal—perhaps especially so the further we get from its grisly realities and the horrible suffering it inflicted. Part of its appeal must lie in the city’s recovery—the “happy” ending we cling to and the lessons in charity and selfless bravery and kindness it taught. Lessons we hope all of history teaches to anyone paying attention. But as the Explosion’s ever-broadening stream of nonfiction and fictional narratives demonstrates, the question it poses—why it had to happen—will always be a slippery one. We can blame humanity’s propensity to take up arms and the Great War for making Halifax’s harbour a sitting duck. But why its people? Why the residents of Turtle Grove and Richmond and not more moneyed ones in the South End? Why anyone?
Here the facts hit a wall, a solid, unexploded one that fiction can scale if not quite breach. The only conceivable answer must be that catastrophe brings chances for ordinary people to shine, for the overlooked to do their heroic best. We commemorate the aid that poured in, repaying the kindness by sending a tree to Boston each Christmas.
But, more intimately, we celebrate the fearless generosity symbolized, for instance, by Steven Laffoley’s version of Tiny Tim. Laffoley’s orphan is based on Tommy Sulkis, a 10-year-old paper boy-philanthropist who survived the Explosion exactly as his character does and later headed a charity providing Christmas gifts to Halifax’s poor.
Fiction, too, comes out of generosity and bravery, albeit of the imagination. Anyone who writes stories or makes other forms of art knows how creative acts can give hardships form enough to make them bearable.
Anyone who lives in the world knows that none of us are immune to devastation—and this remains the legacy of the disaster we Haligonians lay claim to. It’s a lesson for the ages that keeps evolving through the creation of fiction.
So, what next? How do we give the Explosion story over, as it passes into the hands of future novelists bound to take it up, particularly as with time the boundaries between fact and fabrication become increasingly permeable? The answer, I imagine, is that we do so by seeing the events of 1917 as a starting point. They are a springboard for new and endless variations on the themes of human frailty, endurance and the lessons in compassion that come of experiencing things, albeit vicariously, through the lives of fictional characters.
If we, their makers, choose, then these characters will go before us into danger, testing the waters as nimbly as though they walked on them. It’s our job to keep seeking answers to the unanswerable.
As Walter Stone, Laffoley’s fictitious newspaper publisher, instructs his employee, “You’re a good reporter, Michael, the best I have. You’re tenacious as hell, and you report the facts like few others. But there is a difference between the facts and the truth. Even after all the facts are on the table, the truth may still need to be found.”
What is this place called Canada? The second largest country in the world geographically, it is difficult to grasp the whole. Some peoples and provinces are nations unto themselves and resentment against the dominant centre in outlying regions runs deep.
Even agreeing on a founding moment in Canada’s past can be a challenge. While 1867 works quite well for the four original provinces in Confederation (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec), it tends to obscure significant developments before that date and to discount other areas of northern North America that have been absorbed into this improbable experiment in empire building.
As a result of our different perspectives, not all Canadians feel moved to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. Indigenous peoples have served notice that they find little to celebrate in 150 years of Ottawa’s rule and the Parti Québécois has made plans to counter Ottawa’s program of “comfort history” with a series of events showcasing “the Other 150” for Quebecers. Together, the books reviewed here, five of them aimed at a broad popular readership and three taking an academic perspective on Confederation, reflect the diverse points of view that lie at the heart of Canada’s complex identity.
At the outset, I should acknowledge that I am a co-author of several Canadian history textbooks and have been guilty of some of the errors that caught my eye in these publications. I will not obsess about such transgressions but, in the interest of historical accuracy, let me point out that: the name “Canada” is derived from an Iroquoian, not Algonquin, word for “village”; the French colony on the St. Lawrence was known as Canada, not Quebec; the Acadians were not deported to the French colony of Louisiana, though a great many ended up there; the majority of the Black population in the Maritime Provinces are descendants from immigrants who arrived after the American Revolution and the War of 1812, not by the Underground Railroad in the mid-19th century; there are three Maritime Provinces, not four; representatives from Newfoundland were not present at, or even invited to, the Charlottetown Conference in 1864; the Prairie region may have been acquired peacefully from its corporate owners but certainly not without violence for its Indigenous inhabitants, as the Red River and Northwest uprisings attest; and Canada did not achieve “independence” in 1867—far from it. In the 20th century our political leaders gradually weaned the country from British oversight in such important matters as citizenship, defence, foreign affairs and legal appeals, but it was not until 1982 that Canadians could amend their constitution without an act of the British Parliament.
In A Number of Things: Life of Canada Told through Fifty Objects, creative writer Jane Urquhart offers thoughtful observations on Canada’s material culture. She fixes not only on obvious symbols such as canoes, cod and the rope that hanged Louis Riel, but also on less iconic items such as bird feeders, Innu tea dolls and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s figurines of Staffordshire dogs. Instead of using photographs to illustrate the text, she invited Scott McKowen to produce exquisite scratchboard engravings, which give the book a satisfying visual cohesion. Urquhart argues that the lack of certainty about Canadian identity has allowed for multiple points of view and a greater-than-average adaptability, useful tools in the country’s kit box for survival and also for living comfortably with a list of objects, which, as the author readily concedes, could easily have been entirely different.
Like Urquhart, historian Charlotte Gray in The Promise of Canada: 150 Years—People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country, takes a selective approach, profiling nine Canadians who, she believes, made a difference and together capture the essence of Canada’s evolving identity. She chooses father of Confederation George-Étienne Cartier and mounted policeman Sam Steele to exemplify Canada’s founding political nationality based on English-French duality, federalism and “peace, order, and good government.” Artist Emily Carr and political economist Harold Innis are selected for their contributions to our understanding, artistically and economically, of the impact of the land in shaping the emerging nation. Following the Second World War, Canadians became more politically conscious and committed to social justice as exemplified by Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood and Bertha Wilson. This leaves Elijah Harper and Preston Manning to represent the unfinished business relating to First Nations and Western Canada.
In the last chapter, Gray focuses on Canada’s current cultural diversity with brief nods to Lise Bissonnette, Douglas Coupland, Shadrach Kabango, Naheed Nenshi and Annette Verschuren. While readers may quibble with Gray’s choices, her insightful biographies make good reading and work well as a way of explaining Canada’s trajectory. Only one person in Gray’s volume, businesswoman Annette Verschuren, born in North Sydney, has roots in any of the four Atlantic Provinces. Testimony, if any were needed, to the region’s invisibility in the Confederation enterprise.
Happily, place is the framework for George Fischer’s Canada: 150 Panoramas, an unapologetic celebration of Canada’s landscape in stunning colour photographs of, and brief commentaries on, each province and territory. Unless one is keen to see ecological disasters, rural poverty and threatened species, this book is impossible not to like and it should have broad appeal. In 2004, when four out of five Canadians lived in urban centres, 89 percent of the respondents to a national survey felt it was the “overwhelming vastness of the landscape” that defined their country. This book showcases this vastness at its best and sunniest.
Yet another way of seeing Canada is through the political satire of Michael de Adder, one of the country’s most admired and prolific cartoonists. Born in Moncton, de Adder cut his artistic teeth while attending Mount Allison University and quickly garnered accolades, among them the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists’ Golden Spike Award in 2006 for the best cartoon killed by an editor. The Halifax Daily News, for which de Adder worked from 2000 to 2008, refused to publish his spoof on Pope Benedict XVI’s election, which showed the white smoke signal from the Vatican chimney in the form of “the finger,” with the caption “The Cardinals Send a Message to Moderate Catholics.”
In 2016, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton hosted a retrospective of de Adder’s cartoons curated by his admiring Mount Allison professor Virgil Hammock. The accompanying catalogue Drawing Conclusions: The Political Art of Michael de Adder includes short essays on de Adder, the history of cartooning, and a timely reflection on the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. An inspired and courageous cartoonist, de Adder has attracted his share of venom but he continues to take no prisoners, poking fun at Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau with equal enthusiasm. I look forward to de Adder’s contribution to our sesquicentennial, You Might Be From Canada If…, a volume in MacIntyre Purcell Publishing’s “You Might” series.
The aforementioned publications are largely upbeat in tone. The same cannot be said for two of the books discussed here: Donald J. Savoie’s Looking for Bootstraps: Economic Development in the Maritimes and Raymond B. Blake’s Lions or Jellyfish: Newfoundland-Ottawa Relations since 1957. These authors parse the structure of Canadian federalism and find it wanting when it comes to the Atlantic Provinces, whether they joined Confederation in the 19th century or, as was the case for Newfoundland and Labrador, succumbed to the continental drift only in 1949.
Donald Savoie, Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the Université de Moncton, has spent most of his adult life trying to solve the problem of Atlantic Canada’s economic underdevelopment. In his earlier career, he served as senior policy advisor in the Department of Regional Economic Expansion and he was influential in convincing the Brian Mulroney government to establish the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in 1987. Savoie has written extensively and with brilliance on federalism and regional development. Offered appointments to prestigious universities in Great Britain and the United States, he has chosen to stay in the Maritimes.
“I am a Maritimer to the core,” he claims in his Preface. In 2006, Savoie published what he argued was his last book on regional woes, Visiting Grandchildren: Economic Development in the Maritimes, but he is back again, compelled by a sense of urgency in the face of current challenges.
Looking for Bootstraps includes a summary of the scholarship on the Maritime condition in Confederation and explores in revealing detail Savoie’s experiences as a consultant to politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa. While he initially had confidence in political solutions to the region’s underdevelopment, he has moved away from this position, arguing that “the local home-grown private sector is our region’s best bet.” To highlight this direction, he dedicates his book to K.C. Irving, who also made a conscious decision to stay in the region to fulfill his ambitions (at least, it should be noted, until Canada’s tax regime prompted him to take up residence in Bermuda).
Coming dangerously close to blaming the victims for their plight, Savoie suggests that Maritimers may well be responsible for failing to find the bootstraps they need, unwilling as they are to support Maritime Union as a means to achieve a better outcome in power struggles with Ottawa and lacking the courage to fight for a reformed Senate that could more effectively address regional needs. I remain unconvinced that Maritime Union, a reformed upper chamber and local capitalist leadership are enough to ensure a brighter tomorrow, but Savoie’s implicit assumption that political solutions can still make a difference is reassuring.
The focus on these reforms to address the contemporary paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty echoes the situation on the eve of Confederation. Although the Maritime delegates attending the Charlottetown Conference in September 1864 abandoned the idea of regional union, they fought hard a month later in Quebec City for greater representation in the federal parliament. Any demand that the smaller provinces be accorded an equal voice, either in the Senate or in the House of Commons, was a deal breaker for delegates from the Province of Canada, who were determined to dominate the new federation. And this they did.
In 1867, their name, their capital, their civil service, their currency and their militia policy were imposed on Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Philip Girard has argued, in one of the fine essays on Confederation published at the ActiveHistory.ca website, that the Maritimes were in effect “annexed to Canada.” This was in fact the case for much of the rest of the country outside of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes heartland.
The difficulty facing smaller and less wealthy jurisdictions in larger federations and in the world generally is underscored by Newfoundland and Labrador’s experience in Confederation after 1949. Although Canada’s newest province eventually followed the path well trodden by the Maritimes, its feisty premiers were much less likely than their regional counterparts to take federal fiat lying down.
Historian Raymond Blake explores the province’s pitched battles with Ottawa, beginning with Joey Smallwood. Smallwood who took John Diefenbaker’s government to task for its limited interpretation of Term 29 of the union agreement.
Blake follows Smallwood’s path all the way to Danny Williams, who walked out of meetings, lowered Canadian flags and threw hissyfits in order to secure better deals from Paul Martin and Stephen Harper on equalization payments and offshore resource royalties. During negotiations with Ottawa in 2004-05, offers to concede full royalties initially came with strings attached, which bore striking resemblance to the indignities recently suffered by Mediterranean countries in the Eurozone: the new royalty regime would be capped so that Newfoundland and Labrador’s per capita fiscal capacity would not exceed that of Ontario. The smaller province would be required to run a balanced budget. And the agreement would have an eight-year time limit.
Other provinces, meanwhile, were hot on the trail of increased transfer payments, among them Ontario, which in 2005 quietly received $5.75 billion to address its claim that it paid more than its fair share into the federation.
Blake’s analysis of the 1969 Churchill Falls power agreement with Hydro-Québec offers additional evidence to show that bootstraps are difficult to pull when one hand is held in a vice grip. Well researched and passionately argued, Lions or Jellyfish is essential reading for anyone interested in how the politics of regionalism really works.
As Edward Whitcomb demonstrates in Rivals for Power: Ottawa and the Provinces—The Contentious History of the Canadian Federation, the Atlantic Provinces are not unique in their confrontations with Ottawa. This book provides valuable information on the context in which the policies discussed by Savoie and Blake played out, underscoring the flexibility of what is, by any measure, an unwieldy system of governance.
Whitcomb concludes that the fathers of Confederation got most things right when they laid the foundations for what is now one of the oldest and most successful federations in the world. He is, of course, correct in this assumption. Most nation-states experience uneven internal power relations and Canada is no exception.
What might have been discussed in more detail in the academic books reviewed here are the ways in which the Atlantic Provinces influenced federal-provincial relations. Of particular interest to readers of this magazine are the negotiations leading to the Constitution Act, 1982.
In a rare moment of creativity, the Atlantic Provinces collaborated with Manitoba and Saskatchewan in entrenching Article 36, which consolidated some of the values informing the regional development policies and welfare state measures put in place since the 1940s. Article 36 enshrines equalization payments, introduced in 1957. It also commits federal and provincial governments to promoting equal opportunities for the well-being of Canadians, furthering economic development to reduce disparity in opportunities and providing essential public services of reasonable quality, to all Canadians.
It was clear in the 1980s and remains true today that the Atlantic Provinces serve as an embarrassing reminder to the rest of Canada that unfettered market forces often fall short. Since the gap between rich and poor is manifested not only across regions but also in class, ethnic and gender relations, it is important to support an activist state to encourage a better balance in the distribution of the nation’s bounty.
Notwithstanding the challenges, Atlantic Canadians are fortunate in 2017 to be part of a country as rich and politically engaged as Canada. It offers security in hard times, opportunities outside of regional boundaries and sometimes within and—in theory at least—subscribes to the values of equal opportunity and social well-being. The interests of poorer jurisdictions inevitably take a back seat to more powerful ones, but Atlantic Canadians could well embark on their own sesquicentennial project, one designed to make faster progress on the goals they helped to enshrine in the Constitution.
1. The Sea Was In Their Blood by Quentin Casey (Local Interest)
2. Promises To Keep by Genevieve Graham (Fiction)
3. I’m Not What I Seem by Charlie Rhindress (Local Interest)
4. Mary, Mary by Lesley Crewe (Fiction)
5. Anne Of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (Young Readers 9-12)
1. Eat Delicious by Dennis Prescott (Cooking)
2. Shadow Of Doubt by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon (True Crime)
3. Waterfalls Of New Brunswick A Guide by Nicholas Guitard (Local Interest)
4. Anne Of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (Young Readers 9-12)
5. Hiking Trails Of New Brunswick by Marianne Eiselt (Local Interest)
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
1. Anne Of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (Young Readers 9-12)
2. Over By The Car by David Weale (Local Interest)
3. Little Book Of Prince Edward Island by John Sylvester (Local Interest)
4. Prince Edward Island ABC by Dale McNevin (Local Interest)
5. The Sea Was In Their Blood by Quentin Casey (Local Interest)
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
2. As The Old Folks Would Say by Hubert Furey (Local Interest)
3. The Greatest Hits Of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning (Fiction)
5. Robert Bond: The Greatest Newfoundlander by Ted Rowe (Local Interest)
PUZZLE BOOKS / COLOURING BOOKS
1. Colour Nova Scotia by Julie Anne Babin (Local Interest)
2. Lexicon Volume 17 by Theresa Williams (Local Interest)
3. Big Book Of Lexicon Volumes 7,8,9 by Theresa Williams (Local Interest)
4. Big Book Of Lexicon Volumes 1,2,3 by Theresa Williams (Local Interest)
5. Big Book Of Lexicon Volumes 4,5,6 by Theresa Williams (Local Interest)