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Pastoral fiction

  • Author:
    Munson, Laura
    Summary:

    Recent widow Willa Silvester, struggling to find a future, invites three friends to her Montana homestead, where they can learn from nature and one another as they contemplate their second acts.

  • Author:
    Wall, Aimee
    Summary:

    A remarkable debut about intergenerational female relationships and resistance found in the unlikeliest of places, We, Jane explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion. Searching for meaning in her Montreal life, Marthe begins an intense friendship with an older woman, also from Newfoundland, who tells her a story about purpose, about a duty to fulfill. It's back home, and it goes by the name of Jane. Marthe travels back to a small community on the island with the older woman to continue the work of an underground movement in 60s Chicago: abortion services performed by women, always referred to as Jane. She commits to learning how to continue this legacy and protect such essential knowledge. But the nobility of her task and the reality of small-town life compete, and personal fractures within their group begin to grow. We, Jane probes the importance of care work by women for women, underscores the complexity of relationships in close circles, and beautifully captures the inevitable heartache of understanding home.

  • Author:
    Malik, Ayisha
    Summary:

    For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel's End. Now all that is about to change. On her deathbed, Bilal's mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village. Mariam is horrified by Bilal's plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel's End, battle lines are drawn. His mother's dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined. Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother's last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.

  • Author:
    Mayr, Matt
    Summary:

    As a third generation logger, a life in the bush is all Joe Adler has ever known. He works, he hunts; he provides. But when a man dies on his watch, and his wife abandons their young family for writing school in Toronto, Joe must face the consequences of his hard-living ways. Left alone to care for his seven year old daughter, he enlists the help of Jenny Lacroix, the wife of the man whose death he might be responsible for. Resentful and angry, and his conscience over Jenny's husband far from clear, Joe threatens to spiral down the path of fury, booze, and violence that did his father in. What follows is a stunning tale of love and redemption, hatred and forgiveness, set amid the desolate cutovers, crystalline lakes, and rolling black spruce forests north of Lake Superior, and in a small logging town called Black River, once mighty and now derelict, in its final throes of existence. Things Worth Burying is a novel set in a region that is rarely written about, the small resource-based communities that exist along the Trans-Canada Highway and its tributaries, from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay, the land north of Superior, a land of miners and loggers living a life in the bush, making ends meet, making do with the rise and fall of market economies that determine so much of their fate. Drawing upon his Northern Ontario upbringing, Mayr brings us a single story pulled from a working-class people who in the face of disappearing jobs and shrinking populations make the difficult choice to stay because the land, the life, is in their blood.

  • Author:
    Wyss, Johann David
    Summary:

    Share with the Robinsons--a minister, his wife, and four sons--as they survive a shipwreck and then adapt to life on an island populated by exotic birds and animals. Through small successes and disappointments, not only does this courageous family survive, but comes to find a happiness that eluded them in their civilized homeland.

  • Author:
    Crewe, Lesley
    Summary:

    Born into a basket of clean sheets - ruining a perfectly good load of laundry - Emmeline never quite fit in on her family's rural Nova Scotian farm. After suffering multiple losses in the First World War, her family became so heavy with grief, toxicity, and mental illness that Emmeline felt their weight smothering her. And so, she fled across the Atlantic and built her life in England. Now she is retired and living in a small coastal town with her best friend, Vera, an excellent conversationalist. Vera is also a small white dog, and so Emmeline is making an effort to talk to more humans. When she joins a memoir-writing course at the library, her classmates don't know what to make of her. Funny, loud, and with a riveting memoir, she charms the lot. As her past unfolds for her audience, friendships form, a bonus in a rather lonely life. She even shares with them her third-biggest secret: she has liberated hundreds of spoons over her lifetime - from the local library, Cary Grant, Winston Churchill. She is a compulsive spoon stealer. When Emmeline unexpectedly inherits the farm she grew up on, she knows she needs to leave her new friends and go see the farm and what remains of her family one last time. She arrives like a tornado in their lives, an off-kilter Mary Poppins bossing everyone around and getting quite a lot wrong. But with her generosity and hard-earned wisdom, she gets an awful lot right too. A pinball ricocheting between people, offending and inspiring in equal measure, Emmeline, in her final years, believes that a spoonful - perhaps several spoonfuls - of kindness can set to rights the family so broken by loss and secrecy.

  • Author:
    McDonald, Fleur
    Summary:

    A riveting new novel of rural suspense from the bestselling Voice of the Outback. 1980: Rose and Ian Kelly arrive in the small South Australian town of Barker for supplies, before driving a further couple of hundred kilometres to begin shearing at Jacksonville Station. Rose, heavily pregnant with their first babies, worries that despite Ian's impending fatherhood he remains a drifter who dreams of the open road. 2020: When the Australian Federal Police swoop unheralded into Barker and make a shocking arrest for possession of narcotics, Detective Dave Burrows is certain there is more to the story than meets the eye. After many months of grief over her brother's illness and death, journalist Zara Ellison is finally ready to begin a new chapter of her life and make a commitment to her boyfriend, Senior Constable Jack Higgins. But when she's assigned to investigate the Barker arrest, Jack begins to believe that Zara is working against him. It takes a series of unconnected incidents in Zara's digging to reveal an almost forgotten thread of mystery as to how these two events, forty years apart, could be connected. Praise for Red Dirt Country 'A gripping, powerful story.' Blue Wolf Reviews 'McDonald's understanding of farming life is effortlessly drawn . . . another great book . . . McDonald leaves us on the edge of our seat.' Debbish.com 'Engaging mystery and authentic rural setting.' Book'd Out

  • Author:
    Snelling, Lauraine
    Summary:

    Ever so slowly Dakota Territory is being transformed from a vast prairie into rich farmland. With the coming of the railroad, the small town of Blessing begins to prosper, and the Bjorklund family is reaping the promised harvest that had lured them from their beloved home in Norway.But for Ingeborg and Haakan, realizing their dreams will not come without a struggle. After their own fields are harvested, Haakan and the neighboring men take the steam engine and the separator on the road, threshing for other homesteaders in return for a portion of their grain. With Haakan away and the fields standing idle, Ingeborg frets over work yet to be done. Fearing an early change of seasons, she takes matters into her own hands. Has the land become more important to Ingeborg than her own family?

  • Author:
    Nesbit, E.
    Summary:

    The story of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis and their life in the country has never been out of print since it was first published in 1906. Charming, sentimental and unforgettable, the novel's enduring appeal lives on in this BBC radio full-cast dramatisation starring Timothy Bateson as the Old Gentleman.

  • Author:
    Raddall, Thomas H.
    Summary:

    A Nova Scotia classic, The Nymph and the Lamp is the story of Isabel Jardin, a strong and sensitive woman, and the men in her life--the stoic Matthew Carney, a living legend, the passionate Gregory Skane, and the innocent but infatuated Jim Sargent. Set in the 1920s, the story unfolds against the wild desolation of Marina, a wind-swept island off the coast of Nova Scotia, as the characters come to terms with their personal contradictions and the demands of isolated island life.

  • Author:
    Berkhout, Nina
    Summary:

    Twyla Jane Lee has one goal. To finish senior year so she can get out of her military hometown of Halo, Montana. But to graduate, she needs to complete forty hours of community service, and that means helping out a rude and reclusive former Marine named Gabriel Finch. A young veteran of the conflicts in the Middle East, Gabriel spends his days holed up in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo on his family farm. Twyla assumes he's just another doomsday prepper, readying his underground shelter for Armageddon. But soon she finds out the truth, and it takes her breath away. Gradually the two misfits form a bond, and Twyla begins to unearth the secrets that have left the Marine battling ghosts. Her discoveries force her to question her views on the wars until she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won't ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch's story behind her. A beautifully written and thought-provoking novel about a teen facing the collision of love, ideals and uncertainty about her own future.

  • Author:
    Fawcett, Brian
    Summary:

    Middle-aged Andy Bathgate clings to a precarious life in the logging town of Prince George, British Columbia. He fears the balance he currently enjoys will come undone the moment the truth comes out: that he is not, in fact, Andy Bathgate. What he doesn't realize is that the people of his community aren't as clueless as he believes- and that honesty, decency, and fairness still have a place in the 21st century.

  • Author:
    Ramos, Joanne
    Summary:

    Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules. "[Joanne] Ramos's debut novel couldn't be more relevant or timely."-O: The Oprah Magazine (25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2019) Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages-and all of it for free. In fact, you're paid big money to stay here-more than you've ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a "Host" at Golden Oaks-or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she'll receive on the delivery of her child. Gripping, provocative, heartbreaking, The Farm pushes to the extremes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love. Advance praise for The Farm "This topical, provocative debut anatomizes class, race and the American dream."-The Guardian, "What You'll Be Reading This Year" "Wow, Joanne Ramos has written the page-turner about immigrants chasing what's left of the American dream...' Truly unforgettable."-Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story and Lake Success "A highly original and provocative story about the impossible choices in so many women's lives. These characters will stay with me for a long time."-Karen Thompson Walker, New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles and The Dreamers "Ramos has written a firecracker of a novel, at once caustic and tender, page-turning and thought-provoking. This is a fierce indictment of the vampiric nature of modern capitalism, which never loses sight of the very human stories at its center. ...'ighly recommended."-Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Circe.

  • Author:
    Smith, Lee
    Summary:

    A magnificent 150-year saga of a musical Southern family featuring barn dances, medicine shows, the Grand Ole Opry, and the evolution of country music from hymns to rockabilly.

  • Author:
    Anderson-Dargatz, Gail
    Summary:

    A tale of farm life featuring Beth, 15, as she milks the cows, shovels manure and fights off advances by boys and her father. But she welcomes the advances of an Indian girl from a reservation and an affair develops, opening her eyes to a world rich in lore and spirits. The setting is Canada, the time the 1940s. A first novel.

  • Author:
    BINCHY, Maeve
    Summary:

    Eight children once carved their names on the trunk of the great copper beech tree which shades the schoolhouse in Shancarrig. Now those children are grown. They have different lives but it was the school that formed them.

  • Author:
    Russell, Ted, Miller, Elizabeth
    Summary:

    Pigeon Inlet is the setting for Ted Russell’s stories, written for radio between 1953 and 1961. Here you will meet not only Uncle Mose, but other characters whose names have become synonymous with traditional outport life: Grampa and Grandma Walcott, Skipper Joe, Aunt Sophy, Jethro Noddy, and—of course—King David.

    Told with a combination of humour and respect and in a manner that captures the essence of folk narrative, these stories stand as a monument to the dignity of the outport Newfoundlander. Edited by Ted’s daughter, Elizabeth Miller, this book is a fine companion for Miller’s biography, Uncle Mose: The Life of Ted Russell.

  • Author:
    Hawkins, Karen
    Summary:

    Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books live, breathe, and sometimes even speak. As the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, Grace could be the savior Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents — Sarah chief among them. But with a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, will Grace ultimately embrace the challenge to rescue her charmed new community?

  • Author:
    Fagan, Cary
    Summary:

    In a quaint tourist village, Dorn makes miniature scale models displayed in the local shops. Yet life is far from idyllic; he suffers under the thumb of a rich, philandering younger brother and an unloving, pudding-obsessed father. Nor can he find the courage to admit his love to Ravenna, the tall and ungainly school teacher who was once the village's only Olympics hope. Life takes a strange turn when the government-sponsored "Wild Home Project" begins in the village. Dorn's neighbour now lives with a wolf. Others are in company with rats, minks, otters, and bears. Soon, Dorn receives a mysterious commission, finds a body in a park, and has several run-ins with a former classmate-turned police officer. When fire breaks out, Dorn takes on the unlikely role of hero in the hope of changing the course of his life. A realist novel with the air of a fairy tale, this surprising, funny and thought-provoking story from beloved author Cary Fagan explores the nature of relationships faunal and human, reminds us of the challenges of finding one's place in society... and that living with a wolf is not a very good idea.

  • Author:
    Perron, Jean
    Summary:

    « Des chevaux blancs, bruns et noirs apparaissent ici et là, détendus. On ne saurait dire s’ils font partie d’élevages ou s’ils vivent à l’état sauvage. Rien ne semble délimiter ce vaste territoire chargé d’énergie tellurique. Aucune clôture. Aucune affiche. Je sors mon caméscope pour capter ce paysage fuyant, sur lequel je ne peux toutefois projeter tout ce qui me passe par la tête en même temps : les souvenirs de Buenos Aires, encore brûlants, et les réflexions sur mon séjour dans cette ville. À l’opposé, je ne pourrais non plus, même si je tentais de tout oublier en plongeant mon regard dans le décor en mouvement par la fenêtre, effacer de ma mémoire les images et les pensées chargées de questions qui me poursuivent au rythme du train. Je me sens tatoué de l’intérieur, au son d’un tango aussi doux que déchirant. »

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