Alex was in harmony with the water. He taught himself to swim, and liked working the sea off Prince Edward Island as his fisherman father did, but he always yearned for something more. His brother Reggie despised it all — the water that brought death, the seasickness, and he needed to breathe the air of farms. Reggie yearned for escape. Mercy Coles lived on the same island as Alex and Reggie, but lived in Charlottetown's society and yearned for experience. All three would get their wish, but coincidence would shape those wishes in profound ways. Alex would find himself on a circus trapeze fated to meet the Niagara Falls tightrope artist, Farini. Alex would join the farmers' protests against the tax collectors, and battle the demons of guilt in the supposed death of his brother. Mercy would find herself landlocked on John A. Macdonald's hard-drinking and dancing campaign to sell confederation statutes, attracted to his power while thinking him the ugliest man in Canada. Anne MacDonald weaves a series of spells that pull this beautifully written novel through a tightly woven script. Rich in tone and textured for a very rewarding reading experience, To the Edge of the Sea combines great storytelling with polished literary control.
|Publisher:||Thistledown Press, Limited|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||454 KB|
About the Author
Anne McDonald has an MA in Psychology, has studied improv at Second City in Toronto, and has attended Sage Hill (Poetry Colloquium, Fiction Workshop) and the Humber School for writers. She facilitates creative writing and theatre workshops and also provides training in collaboration, communication, and creativity for organizations across the Prairies. Anne is a published author whose work has been produced by CBC radio. The autobiographical genesis of the novel To The Edge Of The Sea: One hot and sleepy July day in Toronto I was teaching my English as a Second Language class and decided to watch a video celebrating Canada’s 125th birthday, a video that my mother had sent to my sister who had been teaching in Africa. In it there was a line drawing of William Pope rowing himself out to the Queen Victoria in the Charlottetown harbour to meet the Fathers of Confederation. He was the only one there and was in a small and insignificant boat because the first circus in twenty years was in Charlottetown. There was no one else to meet them, no boats or carriages to bring them ashore. This intrigued me and started my research into the story of Canada’s formation – one that had always seemed so quiet, so inconsequential. I spent many hours in the Toronto Reference Library reading histories of the circus and of the Confederation Conferences in Charlottetown and Quebec. In the Baldwin Room of the library I was able to read an original copy of Edward Whelan’s The Union of the British Provinces, published with his own money in 1865. It compiled the speeches of the delegates, after the fact, as no recordings were allowed during the Conferences themselves, and it helped me understand more of the politics, the delegates, and the events. Another invaluable resource was Mercy Coles’s unpublished diary of the Quebec Conference and tour of the Canadas. It is available in the National Archives in Ottawa. I first heard of it in Christopher Moore’s book, 1867 How the Fathers Made a Deal (1997) which was incredibly helpful as it describes the politics, people and events of the Conferences and what led up to Confederation and the formation of Canada. The Prince Edward Island Provincial Archives was a useful resource and the staff were very helpful in finding newspaper accounts of the circus and of the events of the conference. Shane Peacock’s book, The Great Farini (1995) was a valuable resource as well. My Aunt Frances Griffith sent me essays, stories and material of Prince Edward Island’s history such as the story of the Tenant’s League and Fletcher’s Field, outmigration in PEI, and many other topics. I can’t thank her enough. These are just some of the resources that I used in the writing of this book. Again, I have played with the known facts and timelines, making up my own intents and this novel is my fictional telling of the formation of Canada.