If June Hutton’s Two-Gun & Sun suddenly up and left your life like...whoops - that was almost a spoiler-alert! But seriously, if you’ve got a Two-Gun shaped hole in your little reader’s heart, we’ve got the follow up reads that might just fill it.
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If the historical, terse race relations in Two-Gun were of interest to you, check out Suzanne North’s Flying Time (Brindle & Glass). The plucky main character, Kay Jeynes, goes to work for Mr. Miyashita, the only Japanese businessman in town. As Japanese-Canadians find their movements increasingly restricted in the lead-up to the Second World War, Mr. Miyashita asks Kay to travel to Japan to recover a precious heirloom, potentially incriminating himself in the process.
If the corrupt mining officials in Black Mountain got you riled, try S. Noel McKay’s Stony Point (Inanna Publications). After a newspaper reporter, Stanley Birch, vanishes from a mining town in the Crowsnest Pass in 1903, his sister-in-law, Lucille, comes to find him. She finds both the town and its local law enforcement under the thumb of the corrupt mine owner (again – we’re feeling this is not dissimilar to the “Sheriff” of Black Mountain!) and fights against them all. You’ll root for the rights-championing Lucille just as you did Lila.
Likewise, if you want to know more about Canadian mining in the early 1900s, check out Steve Hanon’s account, The Devil’s Breath (NeWest Press) of the worst mining disaster in our history, the Hillcrest mine explosion in 1914, Hanon’s book shines a light on a history that was largely buried given when it occurred – right before the First World War that features so prominently as an influencer in Two-Gun.
Roewan Crowe’s Quivering Land (ARP Books) rounds out our recommended follow-ups to Two-Gun. Crowe’s writing is both beautiful and brutal, which takes us back to the gorgeous and gruesome moments of our book club pick. A true western – guns, horses, and cowboys are all present here – Quivering Land’s genre is subverted by the introspection of its characters.
And with those recommendations, that wraps our first-ever book club! Many thanks to June Hutton, the great folks at Caitlin Press, and all of you for reading along.
...But it’s not over-over: there’s still time to pick up August pick A Gentle Habit for 15% off!