I’ve just come out of a week-long fog caused by a nasty flu bug that has been circulating and am just beginning to feel (somewhat) normal.
Being saddled with the flu is like spending weeks planning for a party only to have that annoying neighbourhood kid show up and ruin everything. He wrecks all the games, eats all the cake and is the last one to leave! Kills the good time you were meant to have!
I still have the 1-900 number voice which I secretly think my husband hopes will linger but otherwise I am right as rain (whatever that means!)
As someone desperate to be a person who thinks in terms of silver linings, a good thing that happened while I was lost in sickness I got to be Lost on Brier Island by Jo Ann Yhard (ISBN: 9781551098197, Nimbus Publishing, 2011) too!
I’ve been eager to read this latest offering from one of my most favourite East Coast writers for young people (we are totally like sisters, check out my interview with her last year to see what I mean!) but for obvious reasons haven’t been able to get to it.
Boy, am I glad I did!
In this book, fourteen-year-old Alex is sent to Brier Island to spend a summer with her Aunt Sophie following a horrible family tragedy. She doesn’t want to be there and scoffs at all the small-island-ness of it compared to her Halifax home.
But when she connects with a baby whale she calls Daredevil on a local whale-watching trip her perspective changes. Alex finds that she begins to like the island’s quirky inhabitants and of course learning about whales and the ocean.
Besides she’s tired and confused by her parents bickering and needs to work some stuff out on her own. With the help of new friends and a connection to Daredevil, Alex finds just what she needs as she comes out of her own fog on Brier Island ( note: this is a clever little insert on my part as there is lots of fog on Brier Island and it totally factors into the story but that’s all I am saying.)
This was a great read, wholly engaging and so relatable for a young person who is dealing with loss in their lives. It’s a story about carrying on and moving forward when you really don’t want to and how life can help you if you only let a little bit in.
This tale captures all that I adore of the Atlantic Provinces and the people there: death and hurt, stress and strife somehow becomes charming and uplifting and not in a patronizing way. It just somehow seems more palpable and honest.
Maybe it’s the rugged LONG winters, maybe it’s the land and the sea but these people know how to tell a story don’t they?
Yhard’s writing manages to be quite entertaining, warm and moving while dealing with some pretty complex human drama. I love that she doesn’t shy away from showing adult issues through the eyes of a teen and that healing can happen.
Her first novel, The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines came onto the Canadian kids’ book scene like gangbusters and this one will likely light it up too!
What can I say Yhard’s awesome, especially as she has given me my new go-to word to avoid swearing in front of the kids: BOGS!
Since I am done spreading around my germs maybe I’ll try and infect others with that one…..you heard it here first!