Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Notes: McDonald on Mercy Coles

Also at the Writers' Union conference in Toronto, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne McDonald and discovering her recently published novel To The Edge of the Sea, which is set against the backdrop of the 1864 confederation conferences at Charlottetown and Quebec. It includes among its characters the Prince Edward Island diarist Mercy Anne Coles, whose confederation diary is well known to historians of the period.  Anne was kind enough to cite my 1867: How the Fathers Made A Deal in her notes, and I'm delighted to return the favour.

They stood on the grass that had dewed over, Mercy's shoes and ankles wet with it, to watch a display of fireworks.  All of them with their heads back, waited, watched silent with anticipation like children poised for wonder and awe.  And then the sound, which Mercy loved the best, as it echoed off the stone of the building into the ground and into her.  She tasted the smoke in the air, watched it drift across the sky.  So caught up that she did not at first hear Macdonald's voice beside her.
"What worlds we create when we want to."  Returning his flask.  Clouds blew across the lake making it warm, dark.....
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