For me, a definitive summer means going to a cottage, swimming in the glistening water of the lake, lounging on the dock and watching a glorious sunset…and reading a good book while listening to the wind stir through the pine trees. If you are like me and can’t imagine a summer without several good books, continue reading to find out about some new Canadian fiction books for summer 2022 for you to enjoy.
Graham’s latest novel begins during WWI in Belgium where Canadian nurse Adele Savard is tending to wounded Jerry Bailey. They soon find out that they both hail from Windsor, Ontario and a romance blossoms. Years later upon their return from war, Jerry and his brother John become involved in booze smuggling from Windsor to Detroit during Prohibition. The story fast-forwards to present day where Cassie, a curator at a Windsor museum, encounters a renovator who finds 100-year-old-whisky bottles hidden in the walls of his house. The author’s historical research is fascinating and the scenes of the hospital during WWI and the later smuggling operations are vividly depicted. The book, however, would have benefited from more concise editing as I noticed repetitive explanations about the characters’ back stories. I also found the author’s method of providing historical facts by having one character explain the history of booze smuggling to the other a bit tedious. Overall though, it was an interesting read about a sensational time in Canada’s history. Bluebird by Genevieve Graham is published by Simon and Schuster and is $24.99.
ISBN No. 978-1-9821-5665-7
One of the new Canadian fiction books for summer 2022 that is included on many most anticipated book lists is Anne Lazurko’s What Is Written on the Tongue. This is another book with a narrative that begins during World War II. The epic story follows Sam, a 20-year-old Dutch resident who is sent to a prison camp by the Nazis for evading the draft. After surviving harrowing conditions at the camp and witnessing several friends die, Sam manages to be selected to work on a farm before the Allies free him. A few years later, he is drafted and sent to the Dutch-colonized Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies to control the uprising of the Indonesian independence movement. As Sam witnesses his Dutch comrades committing similar acts against the Indonesian people as the Nazis formerly did, we see Sam grappling with moral questions of right and wrong, as well as learning about the loyalty of true friendship. This historical fiction novel is difficult to read at times due to the inhuman acts and extreme deprivation of war, but it also vividly presents the extreme capacity of the human spirit to love and hate his fellow beings. What Is Written on the Tongue by Anne Lazurko is published by ECW Press and is $24.95.
If you love to read like I do, you’ll definitely want to ensure that you have a good novel packed for the cottage. In Mad Honey by Katie Welch, the protagonist Melissa Makepeace operates a farm in Lanark County, Ontario with her adopted sister and mother. Melissa’s relationship with her mother, who is on an Eat-Pray-Love-type vacation, is tense at best. Melissa is also disturbed by the fact that her father has been missing for 12 years. On top of that, boyfriend Beck Wise, who is also the head beekeeper at the farm, disappears for three months. When he returns, his explanation is another mystery for Melissa to unravel. Welch’s writing is fluid, concise and beautifully descriptive and the characters are fully developed. I found myself picturing Melissa’s bucolic farm while I read this well-paced story. Mad Honey by Katie Welch is published by Wolsak and Wynn, $22.
I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as much as I did and that’s because a strong female protagonist defied many of her society’s expectations. The story focuses on Theo, who is a master illusionist working on a circus train travelling through Europe during World War II. The train is frequently stopped by SS officers. He is accompanied by his daughter, Lena, who had polio as a child and is not able to walk. Theo takes on an apprentice, Alexandre, who is a teen with a secret past. Some surprising plot twists led excitement to the narrative. The overarching theme in Parikh’s novel is family secrets and the detrimental effect they can have on your future. The author challenges the reader to break free from limitations from the past. The Circus Train by Amita Parikh is published by HarperCollins and is $24.99.
ISBN No. 978-1-443- 464994
I hope you enjoy your summer and have a chance to read some new Canadian fiction books for 2022.
You may be interested in reading, “Take These Fun Essentials to the Cottage in Summer 2022”.