Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

New Under the Sun

Share |

New Under the Sun was the third of the three books that I decided I would read and write about as part of my term as WIR for Open Book Toronto. The author is Newfoundlander and Governor General’s Literary Award Winner, Kevin Major whose passion for his home province is relayed in every word. This was a book I could really sink my teeth into. It offers the reader the chance to uncover the many layers of a place through the eyes of characters situated at different points in history.

The main character is a young woman named Shannon Carew who works for Parks Canada and returns to Newfoundland after a 20 year absence. She swore that she never would return but finds herself in the position of being able to help remodel the interpretation of National Historic Sites. As a reader you get the chance to follow along with her re-entry into life and family in Newfoundland. Shannon is reading a novel about the Maritime Archaic which recreates the life of the indigenous people of the area which is woven into the story that we are enjoying as readers. Shannon comes across the letters from William Cormack a local businessman and president of the Beothuk Institution that further flesh out details about the life of the Beothuk people.

”The demise of the Beothuks in particular is the great tragedy if Newfoundland’s history,” Major says. “It is something that never entirely goes away – the thoughts of how they lived and how they would have enriched this place had they survived.”

The story for me had all of the elements of the perfect summer read: a family’s story with all of the drama and details that strike a chord of authenticity in everybody’s heart. I also really like the way that secrets are explored and exposed and the fact that it further demonstrates the kinds of experiences that we can all share as humans. The final element that makes this the perfect summer read is that this book has the capacity to transport the reader into a different time and place. As a reader I felt as if I was in the middle of a real place and real people and left me wondering what those characters were up to when I put the book down.

If you’re looking for a story to draw you in, check this one out:

New Under the Sun
By: Kevin Major
Published by: Cormorant Books
ISBN 9781897151853

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Pj Kwong

Pj Kwong is a figure skating expert and writer currently working for CBC Sports. Her first book, Taking the Ice: Success Stories from the World of Canadian Figure Skating (BookLand Press), will be in stores in September 2010.

Go to Pj Kwong’s Author Page