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Historical Fiction

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Stone Woman
Bianca Lacoseljac

Stone Woman is a saga of Blossom’s unconventional family of five women, whose lives are bound by a Vietnam-War draft dodger, David, immersed in the Yorkville subculture of the hippie daze of Toronto. During the 1967 Art Symposium, a giant block of marble intended for a sculpture disappears from High Park, and the mystery of the theft becomes the focus of speculation in the Toronto arts community. The novel draws the reader into a web of liaisons and into David’s love affair with Blossom’s mother Liza, his covert dealings with her friend Anna, as well as the mysterious Helena. The intrigue culminates in the convergence of their loves and tragedies, and quests for social and cultural change inherent in the tumultuous milieu of the period. The story is brought to the present through the lives of the women’s daughters who discover that their family secrets have been sculpted literally into an art form that imparts a sense of homecoming and alludes to a more hopeful future.

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The Fishers of Paradise
Rachel Preston

In 1930s Hamilton, the boathouse community of Cootes Paradise is under siege: the squatters' shacks that line the shores of Dundas Marsh stand in the way of ambitious plans to make the city beautiful. Egypt Fisher and her mother are struggling to keep their lives together in the absence of her father, a con man neither of them has seen for six years. Into this mix walks a handsome drifter and the family falls under his spell, until Egypt's father unexpectedly returns. Unhinged by jealousy and a harrowing brush with the local mafia, he reveals a family secret that sets Egypt's world off-kilter and poisons her relationship with her mother. When Egypt tries to turn the situation to her own advantage, her lies set in motion a series of events with devastating consequences.

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Art Love Forgery
Carolyn Morgan

A novel of crime and passion in nineteenth-century Newfoundland Alexander Pindikowsky, a Polish artist working in Heart’s Content, is arrested in 1880 for the crime of forgery. He is sentenced to fifteen months at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s. Governor John Hawley Glover, when made aware of Pindikowsky’s talent, arranges for the prisoner to serve part of his sentence in a most unusual way—designing and painting ceiling frescoes at Government House. Ellen Dormody, a parlour maid at Government House, witnesses first-hand the brilliance of Alexander’s artistry. She is at once captivated by the mysterious painter. Inspired by true events, Art Love Forgery is a story of forbidden love in nineteenth-century St. John’s, a legend that lives on within the walls and ceilings of Government House.

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The Dancehall Years
Joan Haggerty

Both an epic adventure and an interracial drama, this spellbinding novel brims with gorgeous writing. The complex family saga begins one summer on Bowen Island and in Vancouver during the Depression and moves through Pearl Harbour, the evacuation of the Japanese and three generations into the 1980s. Gwen Killam is a child whose idyllic island summers are obliterated by the war and consequent dramatically changed behavior of the adults around her. Her swimming teacher, Takumi, disappears along with his parents. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and Gwen's beloved Aunt Isabelle painfully realizes she must make an unthinkable sacrifice.

The island's dance hall, a well-known destination for both soldiers on leave and summer picnickers, becomes the emotional landmark for time passing and time remembered.

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From a Good Home
Trudi Johnson

Every family has its secrets. In 1935, Hannah Parsons left her home in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland, at the age of seventeen to work in service for Charles and Virginia Sinclair, a wealthy St. John's family. While working for them, Hannah catches the eye of the patriarch of the household, and her life takes an unexpected turn.

Now, sixty years later, Charles Sinclair has passed, and his last living will and testament is about to throw his family into turmoil. His children and grandchildren learn that no family is as perfect as it seems, and that some secrets refuse to stay buried forever.

From a Good Home is a novel of family legacy among the St. John's aristocracy. It is Trudi Johnson's first book.

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