Prince Edward Island Books
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This is a thread for listing and discussing books with a Prince Edward Island setting. Can we come up with books other than L. M. Montgomery's wonderful books?
If they had tumbleweed in PEI, one would be bumping along through this thread right now.
btw, looking at the Wikipedia entry on PEI, it looks like there is a famous play (Johnny Belinda) by PEI author Elmer Blaney Harris. I haven't read it though so I can't comment on it.
I just mentioned these in another thread, excuse the duplication:
The Catch by Louisa McCormack - enjoyable chick-lit from PEI.
I found A Prince Edward Island Christmas: nowadays and long ago by Deirdre Kessler on the Christmas display at my local library. It has a bit of everything: some beautiful reminiscences from the first settlers to the present; traditional island cooking; excerpts from authors; a bibliography; and outstanding photographs. Did you know the island gets an average of 300 centimetres (10 feet) of snow annually? This is not the green pastoral island we see in most photos. This book is a little treat.
Well, I am going to be a rebel and mention Lucy Maud Montgomery! She is one of my favourite authors, and I reread the "Anne" books on an annual basis. Recently Montgomery's last book, which she finished just days before her death, was published for the first time. It is a series of short stories (many have been published in other collections) that are connected by poems and dialogues featuring Anne, Gilbert, and their family. The book is called The Blythes are Quoted; I am currently about a third of the way through it, and though it is not perfect, if you are an "Anne" fan, it is sure to delight!
I had some trouble finding a PEI book not written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, but I finally succeeded. I just finished Eric Wright's A Body Surrounded by Water.
As a mystery, the novel wasn't all that impressive, but the characters and setting seemed genuine. If the goal is to get a feeling for PEI, this is not a bad choice. In any case, I liked the book enough that I'll probably try another of Eric Wright's books in the future.
I just ran across this book, and remembering the discussion about difficulty finding non-Anne PEI books I thought I would post it here. I haven't read or heard much about it:
The Catch by Louisa McCormack
Forced on hiatus from her job as a big-city TV producer, Minerva moves to a tiny village in PEI and lands a job at the Eats n' Treats, where she gets to know the locals-including the town's most eligible bachelor.
Recently realized I have no PEI books in my TBR pile for this challenge! I came here looking for a few ideas, as well as to add in a few I found today:
Bannock Beans and Black Tea: Memories of a Prince Edward Island Childhood in the Great Depression by John Gallant looks interesting... adding this one to my wishlist.
Does anyone have any information on Lorelei (touchstone not working) by Lori Derby Bingley? Tags indicate it is a PEI romance: http://www.librarything.com/work/4720559
These Roots Run Deep seems to be a biography of sorts, set in PEI. http://www.librarything.com/work/8212372
Who knew there was a harlequin set in PEI!: The winds of winter http://www.librarything.com/work/4180703
Sorry for the many links, touchstones seem finicky tonight.
Anyway, just a few more books I ran across.
Still on the lookout for new PEI books to add to my wishlist (in hopes that I might bookmooch one sometime this year :P).
I came across:
Sing a new Song by Ann Purdy. I can't seem to find this work or author anywhere at all on LT! Can anyone else spot it?
Here it is on Amazon:
Far Horizons by Kathleen Swartz I could also not locate on LT.. perhaps I am just blind this am:
I just finished A Body Surrounded by Water by Eric Wright. It wasn't exactly a page-turner nor did it have an ingenious plot, but for all that it was entertaining and painted a picture of Prince Edward Island, even touching on history. I enjoyed it.
ETA As there were no reviews for this title, I posted a brief one.
The review that I posted and mentioned above, garnered four(!) thumbs and shot me into "hot reviews" for the first time ever. The thumbs had to be from this group so I just want to thank you very much.
>11 VivienneR: I was one of them. I meant to comment here that I appreciated the review, but I somehow lost track of this thread. It sounds like a good non-Anne of Green Gables selection for PEI. (Not that I don't like the Anne books. I'm an Anne fan!)
Thanks again. I too was looking for books that were outside my usual area, however, I'm a fan of Eric Wright and couldn't pass up on this one.
Although I don't have a copy, I ran across a description of Mud, Sweat and Tears as being about rural vets in PEI.
I was so excited to find another PEI book: Sandfires by Tom Crothers. Only a couple people seem to have it on Library Thing, but you can get it on amazon.
Here is one more, and this is the one i'm going to read for the challenge, although I have to order it from Amazon or Abe Books I think: Revenge of the Lobster Lover by Hilary MacLeod. Has anyone read it?
Here is the blurb from Abe Books:
"It's lobster season at The Shores, a fishing village on a point of land that's been cut off from The Island in a storm surge. Parker, a collector of art and antiquities, has moved there with his partner Guillaume, a chef just out of rehab. Hyacinth Hy McAllister is a website writer looking for lobster recipes for a client's newsletter. She also needs a speaker for the Women's Institute meeting.
Enter Camilla, founder of the Lobster Liberation Legion, spouting crustacean right-to-life rhetoric. The legion sets about disrupting the season by tickling lobsters -- stroking them into insensibility and thus freeing them from their traps, angering the villagers and the man who runs Parker's fisheries empire. In the tragic events that follow, the hidden connection between Parker, Guillaume and Camilla reveals itself. "
I haven't read it sorry. But thanks for putting it here! I meant to come and add The Island Means Minago here when I finished reading it.
This is a short book of poetry, short conversations, and PEI history. Quite a lot of it centres around PEI's struggle for independence. Many came to PEI escaping Ireland only to find the same sort of absentee landlord situation they had fled from. That had to be mighty galling. Talk about kicking someone while they are down! I think if you have a connection to PEI you would love this book. I enjoyed it but might have enjoyed it a bit more had some of the names been familiar. Among some of the favourite tidbits I picked up: The mystery of the town of Princetown, which simply disappeared. There is a site (with roads but no buildings). At some point it had been nearly the capital, and then suddenly was wiped from the history with no reason given for its disappearance. Possibly an Acadian eviction. 'It might be useful to go to the site of Princetown and dig. I'll bet such a project would meet resistance. Somebody knows'. This book was written a while ago, so perhaps the history of Princetown is being reconstructed.
Also interesting were tidbits about the backhanded/sneaky way the islanders behaved.. constructing their roads so that they could ambush tax collectors, and when forced to build tributes putting hidden messages in them:
From the Poem 'Interpretation of a Cannon' (pg. 74)
.. the corner of Queen and Grafton,
Charlettown, Prince Edward Island:
Placed here by Theophilus Des Brissay
On the occasion of the visit of the
Prince of Wales...
But Fort Amber fell 90 years before
to a combined assault of Acadians and Micmacs
and where was the cannon all that time?
And 'Theophilus Des Brissay.. His name
(Though there was actually such a man 50 years before)
Can be translated:
'Theo' = 'God'
'Philus' = 'Lord'
'Des Brissay' = 'Smash'er'
'For the Love of God Smash'er.'
The Betrayer by Hennessey is an interesting PEI book. The back cover is a little misleading because it implies that the book is solely a fictionalised account of the last execution in PEI. That is part of the story but really, its only a small piece of it. It's really the life story of a man who gets away with two murders but has to live with the guilt of what he did. I quite enjoyed this one.
It will be a worthwhile search, Bcteagirl. John Gallant's son remembered his Dad recounting the wonderful, funny adventures experienced as a child. He would plead with Dad to tell him "the story about..." over and over again. When he grew up and became an illustrator, he thought it would be a great idea (and it was) for his elderly father to write the stories down to be accompanied by his illustrations. Unfortunately, when the facts were presented without the raconteur's talent they exposed the truth - a poor family just struggling to survive. It evokes strong emotion, in this reader anyway.
Them Times by David Weale + many other books by Weale, like The True Meaning of Crumbfest
The Northshore of My Home by Frank J Ledwell, former Poet Laureate of PEI, collection of poems, vignettes, and short stories
The Stand-In by David Helwig
Rink of Dreams by Nancy Russell, children's book, about a young boy who dreams of NHL days
The Master's Wife by Sir Andrew MacPhail. I haven't read this, but MacPhail's homestead is a local historical site, and this would be a non-fiction memoir type of book
I Am an Islander by Patrick Ledwell. Local comedian who pokes fun at us, since he is one of us; also Frank J Ledwell's son
Jane of Lantern Hill / L.M. Montgomery
Jane has been living in Toronto with her rich grandmother and her mother as long as she can remember. She doesn’t even realize her father is still alive and living on Prince Edward Island, until a letter comes asking if she can stay with him for a summer. Her (hateful!) grandmother hates Jane’s father, and all Jane knows is to hate him, and she doesn’t want to go. But, when she meets her dad, she is pleasantly surprised.
I enjoyed this! LM Montgomery’s books are pretty simple, and the end was tied up with a nice bow, but I still enjoyed it, overall.
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