Michael Redhill - Bellevue Square
From award winning and bestselling author Michael Redhill comes a darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity—and then her life—when she learns that her doppelganger has appeared in a local park. People tell Jean Mason that she has a doppelganger. Apparently it hangs out in Kensington Market, where it sometimes buys churros and shops for hats. Jean doesn’t rattle easy. She’s a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving business, and Toronto is a fresh start for the whole family. She certainly doesn’t want to get involved in anything dubious, but still…why would two different strangers swear up and down they’d just seen her? Jean starts to stake out the market but sees no one who looks like her. When she enlists the aid of some of the denizens of Bellevue Square, the only park in the area, things get strange as some of them start to disappear and it becomes apparent that her alleged double has a sinister agenda.
Wayne Johnston - First Snow, Last Light
Wayne Johnston’s latest novel begins with 14-year-old Ned Vatcher ambling home from school in the early winter of 1936 to find the house locked, the family car missing, and his parents gone without a trace. From that point on, his life is driven by the need to find out what happened to the Vanished Vatchers. His father who rose from humble beginnings to political prominence has suffered an unexpected fall from grace. As Ned becomes enmeshed in his father’s family, more secrets and mysteries emerge. As the years pass, a Jesuit priest named Father Duggan and a hard drinking sharp tongued journalist, Sheilagh Fielding loom large in this family drama as Ned becomes Newfoundland’s first media mogul. Only Wayne Johnston could create such larger-than-life characters embroiled in events that leave us contemplating not only their tragedies and triumphs, but the forces that compel us all to act in ways that surprise and sometimes terrify us.
See the blog post wrap up + photos from this event.
Linda Spalding - A Reckoning
A Reckoning is Linda Spalding’s follow up to her award-winning novel, The Purchase. A Reckoning is a deeply moving and troubling account of a family’s breakdown. In the spring of 1885, John Dickinson is involved in a shameful secret that results in a tragic decision. The family’s resources have been wasted by a reckless brother who holds all of them hostage. Adding fuel to John’s desperation, enslaved workers are visited by a Canadian abolitionist who pushes them to escape. Meanwhile, the Dickinsons become fugitives of another kind. To escape their losses they flee in a wagon to the West that will eventually be loaded onto a Missouri river boat for a dark adventure. Nature becomes a moving force in this compelling novel. Spalding writes with irresistible force and breathtaking passion. Her language is stunning, her voice unique. A Reckoning confirms her place at the forefront of Canadian literature.
Glenn Dixon - Juliet’s Answer
Juliet’s Answer is a fresh, heartwarming story about a man who travels to Verona, where he answers letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet, all in an attempt to understand heartbreak, to heal and to find love again. When Glenn Dixon is spurned by love, he does something unusual. He travels to Italy, to become a scribe of Juliet. Once there, he volunteers to answer the thousands of letters that arrive addressed to Juliet. Letters arrive from lovelorn people all over the world who long to understand the mysteries of the human heart. When Glenn returns home to Canada and resumes his duties as a Grade 10 English teacher, he undertakes a lively reading of Romeo and Juliet with his students. But in an intriguing reversal of fate and fortune, his students—along with an old friend—instruct the teacher on the true meaning of love, loss, and moving on. An enthralling tale of modern-day love steeped in the romantic traditions of eras past, this is a memoir that will warm your heart.
Linden MacIntyre - The Only Café
Linden MacIntyre’s new novel is a timely and gripping story in which a son tries to solve the mystery of his father’s death – a man who tried but could not forget a troubled past in his native Lebanon. Pierre Cormier had secrets. Though he married twice, became a high-flying lawyer and a father, no one really knew him. He was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon, the country he fled during civil war to come to Canada as a refugee. When, in the midst of a corporate scandal, he goes missing after his boat explodes, his teenaged son Cyril doesn’t know how to mourn him. Five years later, a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered, and Pierre is at last declared dead. At the reading of the Will, it turns out that instead of a funeral; Pierre wanted a “roast” at a bar, The Only Café. He even left a guest list that included one mysterious name: Ari.
Alison Pick - Strangers with the Same Dream
This spare, beautifully written, shocking and timely novel whisks us back to 1921 Palestine. A band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violence in their homelands, set out to realize a utopian dream. They establish a kibbutz on a patch of land that will, twenty-five years later, become part of the State of Israel. Writing with tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the minds of her vastly different characters. Two young unmarried women, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; one older man, a charismatic group leader; and his wife who understands all too well the dark side of “equality. They show us how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself, revealing with compassion and terrible irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people whose lives they did not entirely understand.
Claire Cameron - The Last Neanderthal
Forty thousand years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate. The unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself. In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women’s lives.
Haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving, The Last Neanderthal asks us to reconsider all we think we know about what it means to be human.
Elan Mastai - All Our Wrong Todays
Elan Mastai’s debut novel has been described as, “incredibly creative…fearlessly funny story telling…instantly engaging… one of the most enjoyable and captivating novels I've read in several years!”
All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humour and heart, saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.
There’s no such thing as the life you’re “supposed” to have.
Peter Robinson – Sleeping In the Ground
DSI Alan Banks is determined to track down a gunman after a mass shooting in the thrilling new instalment of Peter Robinson's internationally bestselling series. Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is called in to lead the investigation after a shocking mass murder occurs during a wedding outside a small church in the Yorkshire Dales. An exhaustive manhunt ensues and the shooter is run to ground as the investigation follows its inevitable course. But Banks, his colleague DI Annie Cabbot, and the newest and youngest team member, DI Gerry Masterson, are plagued by doubts as to exactly what happened in the churchyard that day. Chilling, suspenseful, and deftly plotted, Sleeping In the Ground, will keep long-time fans and new readers guessing to the very end, and it proves without a doubt that Peter Robinson is a crime writer at the top of his game.
Giles Blunt – Black Fly Season
Two-time Arthur Ellis and Silver Dagger–winner Giles Blunt spins a highly disturbing but truly memorable tale about a Canadian cult's murder spree. It’s spring in Algonquin Bay and black flies aren’t the only ones out for blood. Detective John Cardinal and Lise Delorme have a strange case on their hands: a young woman who has wandered out of the bush with a gunshot wound to the head and complete memory loss. Cardinal becomes obsessed with discovering her identity and who is trying to kill her. When the body of a local biker is found in a cave, it seems the two cases are related – and the link appears to be a self-proclaimed shaman who calls himself Red Bear.
“John Cardinal is the quintessential modern Canadian crime fiction hero--the northern lawman reimagined."
Laurie Petrou - Sister of Mine
Sister of Mine is a psychological thriller that takes place in a small town, featuring a family that is tight to the point of knots. Penny and Hattie share a secret that binds them together while threatening to pull them apart. The book opens on a fire: a match is lit, and Penny’s terrible husband is murdered – Penny’s failed marriage going up in flames and offering the potential of a new life. The sisters retreat into their family home – a house of secrets and memories – and try to live their lives in the shadow of the things they put in motion, under the cloud of sibling rivalry, debts unpaid, and the bonds of sisterhood. How often will they demand the unthinkable of each other? How often will they say, ‘You owe me’, and will it ever be enough?"
Jennifer Robson – Goodnight from London
In the summer of 1940, ambitious young journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it's an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. Although most of Ruby's new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a land that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall. As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship-and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren't his to share.
Authors & dates subject to change - Stay tuned for more details!