Sunday, July 8, 2012

Frances Greenslade: Shelter

Frances Greenslade - photo by Shelley Banks
Frances Greenslade,
Regina, March 2012
Canadian writer Frances Greenslade was back* in Regina for the launch of her novel Shelter a few months ago.

Set in the Chilcotin in B.C., Shelter is the story of two sisters whose mother disappears — and the impact of those echoes and loss on their lives.

And yes, it's also about home, love and landscape, and realizing how little we really know about those closest to us for so many years — our mothers.

I'm a fast reader...
Shelter, by Frances Greenslade
However, I am very slow to get to the books I want to read...

I like to savour books as objects first, and anticipate the pleasure I'll get once I immerse myself in their pages.

And what fun it was to finally read Francie's internationally acclaimed book.

She's a great storyteller, and I loved the pitch-perfect voice of Maggie, her young narrator. Beautifully done!

(If you want to see for yourself, extracts of the novel are at Francie's site, and at Random House, her Canadian publisher. She also has a great book club guide.)

And as I write this, thinking about mothers and stories, I remember that my own mother lived for a while in Williams Lake, the town where the sisters in Shelter are billeted. Mom described it as a very wild place, perhaps more of an adventure than she, a young teacher from the prairies, was looking for! She was there 15 or 20 years before this novel takes place. I doubt much had changed, and I wish I could share this with her.   

Frances Greenslade - photo by Shelley Banks
That's my copy Frances Greenslade is signing...
Thanks, Francie!

* Ms Greenslade now lives, works and writes in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley, but not so very many years ago, she lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, and joined us on Friday evenings for Writers Who Play Floor Hockey and Drink Bushwakker Beer. 


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