Nominated Novels 2010
By Bonnie Grove
Nominated by Kristen Ghesquiere
Twenty-something Kate Davis can’t seem to get this grieving widow thing right. She’s supposed to put on a brave face and get on with her life, right? Instead she’s camped out on her living room floor, unwashed, unkempt, and unable to sleep because her husband Kevin keeps talking to her. Is she losing her mind?
Kate’s attempts to find the source of the voice she hears are both humourous and humiliating, as she turns first to an “eclectically spiritual” counselor, then a shrink with a bad toupee, an exorcist, and finally group therapy. There she meets Jack, the warmhearted, unconventional pastor of a ramshackle church, and at last the voice subsides. But when she stumbles upon a secret Kevin was keeping, Kate’s fragile hold on the present threatens to implode under the weight of the past – and Kevin begins to shout.
Will the voice ever stop? Kate must confront her grief and find the grace to go on in this tender, quirky first novel about embracing life. (source: amazon.ca)
By Shawn J. Pollett
Nominated by Leonard Van Dyke
With the death of Emperor Decius, peace returns to the Roman Empire and the Christians. But the reprieve is short lived. Dissension between Rome’s generals sparks a series of civil wars that plunge the empire back into chaos. Barbarians are massing on the northern frontiers, and in the East, the powerful and brilliant Shapur, ruler of the Persians, is plotting to annex Rome’s eastern provinces from his weakened neighbour. Never before has the empire been in such imminent danger of annihilation. Out of this maelstrom comes a new emperor with a new vision, a self proclaimed saviour, who promises to return the empire to its glory days and destroy the empire’s enemies. All her enemies. Now Valens and Damarra must again fight for their survival. But not alone. A mysterious German warrior appears with a special message and a quest, which may help save their lives and re-breathe life into a Church torn apart by guilt. Follow Valens and Damarra on an epic journey into their darkest fears and nightmares, as they face the ultimate evil and make the ultimate choice: to deny the Christos and live out their lives together; or to proclaim the very words that demand a death sentence in their world: “Christianus sum . . . I am a Christian.” (Source: indigo.ca)
By Eric E. Wright
Nominated by Jo-Anne Vandermey and Marcella Haanstra
Journalist Josh Radley reluctantly travels to Pakistan—scene of a childhood trauma—at a time when its fragile democracy faces enormous challenges from militant Islamism. Instead of covering terrorism, Josh is commissioned to write about the glories of Pakistan’s ancient past. He arrives at the excavation of a 4500 year old Indus civilization city in the desert between India and Pakistan. Josh, his daughter Janice and wife Stephanie expect heat and dust but are unprepared to deal with sabotage, theft, kidnapping, and murder.
Josh’s investigations expose a brutal gang willing to smuggle anything for money, including women and children whom they consign to a life of slavery. Josh must first put to rest nightmares from a trauma experienced during his childhood as a missionary kid in Pakistan. Then he must restore intimacy to his marriage and come to grips with the criminal mastermind who threatens his family.
The book immerses the reader in Pakistani culture at a time when we all desperately need to understand that country. The action races from the site of an ancient city buried in the desert, along canals that crisscross the countryside, through the bazaars of a Pakistani town, onto a first class carriage on the fabled Khyber Mail express train to Lahore. (Source: countrywindow.ca)
By Linda Hall
Nominated by Barb Miedema
P.I. Jake Rikker has been retained to find a stalker. A challenge that could help redeem his life–if he doesn’t lose it first.
A private investigator, kayak adventurer, and whale watching tour guide who specializes in salvage operations based out of an old, purple church, Jake Rikker is caught off guard by the request of his new client. Up-and-coming jewelry designer Elise St. Dennis wants him to find not a valuable object, but the menacing ex-con who has traced her to the small town of Fog Point.
Elise is desperate and afraid to go to the police. So, seeing the job as an opportunity to take his focus off his divorce and his relationship with his estranged daughters, Jake throws himself into helping someone who clearly needs him. The fact that Elise is pretty, vulnerable, and unattached doesn’t hurt either.
Aided by his business partner, May–a crusty widow–Jake sets out in pursuit of the stalker. But as they draw ever closer to their prey it becomes terrifyingly clear that they have become not the hunters but the hunted … (Source: amazon.com)
By Jean Little
Nominated by Arthur McCelland
For as long as she can remember, Flora Gauld has lived in Taiwan, but now her family is going home to Canada, a place she has only seen in pictures.
At first she’s a bit intimidated by all the cousins she meets in Kippen, Ontario, but after a while she begins to feel at home. Then her parents explain that they must go back to Taiwan, where they work as missionaries. Flora will be left behind with her aunt and uncle, whom she hardly knows, in yet another town. She is given the special responsibility of looking after her younger brother, William-but who will look after her?
With time, Flora is buoyed by the love of her Aunt Jen and her “adopted” family, but then the Great War begins, and Flora’s world is turned upside down.
Based on the true story of Jean Little’s remarkable mother, His Banner over Me brings a distant time and place to vivid life. (Source: indigo.ca)