New Brunswick Books

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New Brunswick Books

Ago 18, 2009, 10:53am

This is a thread for listing and discussing books with a New Brunswick setting.

Editado: Ago 18, 2009, 11:14pm

It's pretty fringey, but I'm currently reading The Chignecto Isthmus and Its First Settlers to understand my family's arrival in Canada from Yorkshire.

Ago 18, 2009, 11:05pm

I love anything that helps one understand his or her own family history! I'm probably going to have one or two of those in this challenge before it is over, even though I have no direct ancestry in Canada.

Sep 12, 2009, 8:25am

I just read Lines on the Water: A Fisherman's Life on the Miramichi by David Adams Richards. This book is primarily about fly-fishing, but it is written as a series of reminiscences about the author's experiences fishing on the Miramichi. The book won a Governor General's award and is beautifully written.

Dic 2, 2009, 4:30pm

I see my local library has a number of books by David Adams Richards. The Lost Highway is a mystery, which appeals to me. Others include The Friends of Meager Fortune, Mercy among the children and The River of the brokenhearted.

I'm also considering 'Maclean' (touchstone not bringing up this title) by Allan Donaldson, Summer Point by Linda McNutt and Losing Eddie by Deborah Joy Corey.

Can anyone offer a recommendation for any of these titles?

Dic 10, 2009, 3:33pm

Just finished Home : Chronicle of a North Country Life by Beth Powning and it was an absolute joy to read. Five stars! The prose is so poetic and in perfect harmony with Powning's outstanding photographs.

NB: The Sea Captain's Wife by Beth Powning is in this month's ER list.

Dic 11, 2009, 6:45am

Aaahh. 'Home' looks lovely!

In my small town library, I spent a fruitless half-hour searching in their old-fashioned computer card catalog for the different Canada books on my wishlist, finding hardly anything there. Then, I wised up and searched 'Canada' looking for ANYthing they might have. Not much! In the new year, I'll have to pursue other avenues to make my Canada reading trip happen. I'm hopeful that library loans will work for this project.

Dic 11, 2009, 10:13am

>6 VivienneR: and >7 countrylife: - I agree. Home does sound like an excellent read! I've added it to my wish list and hope to run across it in the used bookstore.

Editado: Ene 25, 2010, 12:08am

Beth Powning is an amazing author. I was lucky enough to get The Sea Captain's Wife from Early Reviewers, and it was dazzling. Everyone here who loves historical fiction, get to your nearest bookstore quickly!

Here's the Globe and Mail review:

There are loads of reviews already up about it if you follow the touchstone.

And I'm still not sure how I did it, but I pasted my original message about it under the Nova Scotia thread. Here it is:

I don't think I can count it for my challenge, but The Sea Captain's Wife by Beth Powning, which I'm reading for Early Reviewers, begins in New Brunswick before moving on to other locations.

I want to give it a nod here because it is AMAZING so far - absolutely exquisite prose, beautiful characters and and engaging plotline. This is the first book I've read by Powning (her second fiction effort), but I'll be looking for more.

Ene 24, 2010, 9:59pm

After reading Ahab's Wife, I really need to get that bad taste out of my mouth, by replacing it with a GOOD sea-faring book. Appreciate the rec!

Ene 25, 2010, 12:20am

Oh wow - I just read your review of Ahab. You did not like that book!! I love your phrase "Hated it. With a purple passion". Gotta remember that one.

I haven't read Ahab, but now I'll be curious to know your reaction to The Sea Captain's wife if you decide to read it.

Have you had any better luck finding Canadian books nearby?

Jun 2, 2010, 7:39am

> 4 I am re-reading Lines on the Water and I just finished re-reading Hockey Dreams. I think both provide insight on the author David Adams Richards. It was from these titles that I came to understand David's sense of humour and was better able to appreciate it in his novels. Both books show his determination to overcome disabilities and he carries this through to the novels. Hockey Dreams is interesting. He alternates chapters on his experiences of playing (trying to play) hockey as a kid and his views on hockey and how it is part of the Canadian way of life. He presents an interesting 'slice of life' which is a source for some of his later characters. I highly recommend both books, even if you don't like his fiction I am sure you will enjoy these titles.

Oct 8, 2010, 8:19pm

I'm almost finished Kiss the Joy as it Flies by Sheree Fitch. It's set in a fictional New Brunswick town called Odell, so it should probably count as an honourary New Brunswick option.

It's not a bad book -- stronger ending than starting. It's sort of a middle-aged mother / daughter / grandmother piece. Loads of quirky rebellious female characters, lots of humour and angst. I believe it was nominated for the Leacock Humour award, but to be honest, I just finished Come Thou Tortoise for a Newfoundland read, and I liked it a much more. Tortoise was more legitimately quirky and more angst-filled -- and somehow it was executed more masterfully. Less self-consciously and predictably, perhaps? Hard to pin it down exactly. I recommend both books, but I do recommend Tortoise a lot more.

Nov 12, 2010, 11:56pm

The Hatbox Letters by Beth Powning is set in New Brunswick, but I found it too depressing to read. But it is set in New Brunswick. Other's may like it..

Editado: Nov 13, 2010, 12:16am

I was at the library today and found several books by David Adams Richards set in New Brunswick. Mercy Among Children, which won the Giller in 2000, as well as Hope in the Desperate Hour. I also got Evening Snow will Bring Such Peace which is by the same author, and I think it set in New Brunswick as well.

I am hoping one will prove to be not too depressing to read! ;)

Nov 13, 2010, 12:15am


You may find Richard's fiction depressing, although he does have a great sense of humour. I suggest you try his non-fiction Hockey Dreams: Memories Of A Man Who Couldn't Play, Lines on the Water: A Fisherman's Life on the Miramichi or Lord Beaverbrook.

If you want amusing try Herb Curtis, another NB author.

Nov 13, 2010, 12:17am

Thanks for those suggestions, pmarshall! I'm hoping that one of Richard's books will suit me - but if not - it's great be aware of more suggestions on my cross country read. Thanks again!

Nov 13, 2010, 2:40am

I just finished Losing Eddie by Deborah Joy Corey. I enjoyed it very much. It is said to be set in New Brunswick although I can't remember that it was mentioned anywhere in the text. The story is told by a nine-year-old girl, probably in the fifties. Many of the characters remain unnamed, including the narrator. I thought this little book was very well written. The author was able to get inside the child's mind. The story was very credible.

Nov 13, 2010, 1:40pm

I have heard good things about Losing Eddie

15: I enjoyed Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace.. It is a shorter book as well ;) it is not a book that leaves you feeling depressed, although it does make you think. I think it is more about the hypocrisy of people who 'help' to make themselves feel better or look good while making the situation worse. I have found myself since then thinking 'does this improve the situation?' before adding my 2 cents in an argument etc. I think it would be a good book to read.

I did have trouble keeping track of the characters to start with :P

Nov 20, 2010, 9:22am

I finished Mercy Among Children by David Adams Richards. It is a heartbreaking tale, but wonderful in it's way. I think I may read more by Richards in the future. I recommend it.

Ago 9, 2011, 9:53am

Mercy is my fave Richards book so far. I am currently reading his Miramichi trilogy Nights Below Station Street, Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down and I am quite enjoying them. It's like a literary east coast soap opera!

Jul 1, 2019, 11:13am

I just finished reading I am a Truck by Michelle Winters. The bio on the back of the book says she is a writer, painter and translator from Saint John, NB but she currently lives in Toronto. This book is set somewhere in New Brunswick--the exact setting is not specified. It is about Agathe and Rejean (there should be an acute accent over the first e but I can't figure out how to do that) Lapointe who have been married for 20 years when Rejean disappears. His Chevy Silverado was found on the side of the highway with the driver's door open but no sign of Rejean. Agathe and Rejean speak French and have never mingled very much with English speakers but once Rejean disappears Agathe has to go find a job. She works as a cleaner in an electronics store in a nearby town where she gets exposed to new thoughts and new people and new music. (The music references lead me to believe the book is set during the 1970s.) The mystery about Rejean's disappearance is eventually explained. By then Agathe has become a new person.

Jul 1, 2019, 12:14pm

A great book called The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong almost fits here. It’s technically a fiction book but it is based on Armstrong’s great - great ? Grandmother. Taylor was a settler on the Miramichi, and it’s only fiction because the conversations between characters are imagined. But the story is based on what was known about this remarkable woman.

>22 gypsysmom: this looks really good. I’m off to check my library!

Jun 17, 2020, 10:23am

The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor is in my library I believe! Apparently in about 10 years I have only read 2 books set in New Brunswick, so I will need to remedy this at some point before June 2021!
Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life also sounds exactly like my cup of tea, as well as The Sea Captains Wife

Abr 23, 12:24pm

George and Rue by George Elliott Clarke is the story of two brothers who are poor and black and decide to rob a white taxi driver. They kill him and are convicted of murder and hung. Clarke points out at the end that two white men in Quebec at around the same time murdered a taxi driver and were convicted but their death sentence was commuted to life in prison. There's a long history of unequal treatment of people of colour in Canada, not just the USA.