Five Books Set in Nova Scotia That Don't Smell of Mildew

In honour of my upcoming trip to Nova Scotia next week, I've scoured my brain for five books set in Nova Scotia that don't reek of old school CanLit or that are patently obvious (though I do do love The Nymph and the Lamp, it is so wonderfully perfectly fraught). Notably NOT on this list: The Birth House, Fall on Your Knees, The Book of Negroes and No Great Mischief.

What Is Left the Daughter: This is a US-published novel but I was happy to discover that it's set in Nova Scotia. Recluse Wyatt Hillyer lost both his parents on the same day. Double suicide. The cause: they were involved with the same neighbor. Wyatt moves to Middle Economy (been there!) and upon the occasion of his (estranged) daughter's 21st birthday many years later, writes her a letter than contains the truth about his life. Includes actual historical happenings, such as the sinking of the Nova Scotia–Newfoundland ferry Caribou by a German U-boat. I very much want to read this.



Seven Ravens: I used to read Lesley Choyce's YA when I was a kid. I'm not sure if you've heard of Choyce before but he's very well known in NS. This book is his memoir and a meditation on his beloved Nova Scotian home. I am a complete sucker for any book about emotional ties to place, especially if that place is situated in a spruce stand by the sea. I'm assuming that the seven crows refers to this old saying (though in my day, three crows meant a letter, not a wedding-yikes). Thanks to The Indextrious Reader for cluing me into this book.




Migration Songs: Joan is a 30-year old loner living in Halifax, kept afloat by her Hungarian neighbor, British father and Chinese-Canadian mother. Haven't read this but love the sounds of it for two reasons A) Not populated solely by white fishermen B) Not reliant on place for atmosphere and meaning. Atlantic Canada needs more novels like this.






The Sea Captain's Wife: Now THIS is really my speed! In the 1860's, Azuba Galloway marries a veteran sea captain but becomes pregnant and cannot join him on his travels. Her loneliness embroils her in scandal but once finally out at sea with her husband, tragedy doesn't leave her side. Ah-mazing.







Falling: An act of recklessness claimed Damian's sister in her youth (during a summer spent in Nova Scotia) and as he and his mother heal, another incident threatens to seal their future once again. For fans of The Sea Captain's Wife (and indeed Falling is recommended by Powning!). Thanks to Lavender Lines for recommending this title

13 comments:

Michelle said...

Great selection! I've read Migration Songs and The Sea Captain's Wife and enjoyed both very much. What is Left the Daughter sounds so intriguing! And Vintage Canada just acquired paperback rights to it, to pub in June 2011, so maybe I'll read it then.

B.Kienapple said...

Shamefully I have read none. Strangely enough, the two novels I am set to read while in NS, Galore and Annabel, are both set in Newfoundland. Anyway, good to hear What Is Left the Daughter is getting a Canadian release. I don't want to wait that long to read it, though!

Amy said...

Some great books there, I hadn't heard of any of them so I've added to my wishlist. I'm glad you mentioned The Birth House - it is my absolute favorite.

B.Kienapple said...

The Birth House does look good, I didn't mean to slag it, it just blew up so much it seemed an obvious choice. Doesn't the author have a new novel coming out in the fall? Or maybe it's spring 2011.

Amy said...

OOohhh really? I didn't know she had a new novel coming out, that would be great though.

Hmm... I checked her website and it lists another book, but no publication information that I can find there or on Amazon. How sad.

B.Kienapple said...

Just got confirmed on twitter that the new Ami McKay was pushed back until next year - was supposed to come out this fall. Here's what the Quill article said:
"Canadian fans of best-selling novelist Ami McKay will have to wait much longer than anticipated for the follow-up to her runaway 2006 debut The Birth House. McKay’s second novel, The Virgin Cure, was set to go on sale in Canada on Aug. 24, but Knopf Canada has pushed back the book’s publication to fall 2011 to coincide with its U.S. release."

Amy said...

Ahhh the joys of twitter! Thanks for the info :D

Lahni said...

Do know what book I love that's set in Nova Scotia? Rockbound by Frank Parker Day. But it's definitely in the old school can club!

Lahni said...

That should say "can lit club" not can club - not sure what a can club even is...

B.Kienapple said...

Can can club? I wouldn't want to join that club. Rockbound sounds good. I still have a special place in my heart for NS lit that portrays it as a weather beaten, spellbinding, lonely, capital-R-romantic place.

Teddy Rose said...

This is a great post, especially for those of us who take part in the Canadian Book Challenge.

2 of these books are on my TBR, The Sea Captain's Wife and Falling.

You just added another to it, What Is Left the Daughter. the story sounds really enticing and it has an historical element which, I love.

B.Kienapple said...

Teddy, I am so behind on my reading of Canadian books for the challenge! I've just started Annabel so maybe I can squeeze that under the wire for my July count.
I likely won't get around to What Is Left... until the PB so looking forward to seeing what you think.

Carol Marlene Smith said...

I have a number of novels set in Nova Scotia, all are available on Amazon.

ShareThis

Related Posts for A Certain Bent Appeal Travel Blog