We’re doing a spin on the classic holiday ditty, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with our 12 Days of CanLit series this holiday season. Sing along with our countdown of themed book picks, straight down to our number 1 (that’s 78 books in all!).
On the sixth day of 12 Days of CanLit, All Lit Up highlights 7 Cathartic Cries.
Sometimes you just need a good cry. Clear things out a little. Why not do that while reading these heartfelt stories of families -- sisters, mother and child, partners, and parents -- all striving to get a handle on things and be happy. Whether you're missing your family or spending just a little too much time with them this holiday season, we can all relate.
Half-sisters Rachel and Emma are brought together once again when the grandmother who raised them dies. As they empty the family home memories of a childhood filled with racism, homophobia, and marginalization of the mentally ill overwhelm them.
Nine-year-old Nate is struggling with an unbalanced mind. His mother Ashley is guilty her demanding job doesn’t allow for more time to spend with her family even as she senses something is wrong with her son. Moving back and forth between their two perspectives, Elephant in the Sky portrays a complicated subject with sensitivity and grace.
Pelley shows us the flipside of love in Every Little Thing when a secret kept to protect can just as easily destroy. Cohen falls in love with his free-spirited neighbour Allie. When her father asks Cohen to do him a favour it sets off a butterfly effect of decisions that leave disaster in its wake.
Each member of the Wright family’s story is explored at a turning point in their life. As the threads of their lives have unraveled from each others, they are once again brought together for patriarch Les’s celebration of life at his living wake. They must discover if, after everything, they are unable to give up on themselves or each other.
Katrina and her sisters have spent the last five years going from foster home to foster home. Now they have a chance at a new home and family. That is, Katrina feels, if they give up their birth parents and can behave themselves.
Bridge Ash doesn’t come from a normal family. Her family is nothing like her friends Katie and Simon’s families. While she spends most of her time with Katie’s family, she is drawn permanently into Simon’s family, with his father, mother, and brother, Iggy. When she must leave her home and her family behind in Newfoundland and move to Alberta, she finds herself without even her family’s support. She must grow up quickly in order to survive.
Afterimage by Robert Chafe (Playwrights Canada Press)
Based on the short story by Michael Crummey, Afterimage explores the connections within families but also communities. Winston and Lisa’s children each have struggles they are confronting: Theresa and Jerome both a trying to find their own place within the community while middle child Leo comes to realize he doesn’t belong to his family. Tension and secrets erupt with the smallest of sparks.
We've reached the halfway point of our 12 Days of CanLit. Take a big breath if you've been following along, we've got six more days to go! If you've missed a few days, no worries, get caught up
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