Great Village

By (author): Mary Rose Donnelly


Mary Rose Donnelly

Mary Rose Donnelly is a journalist, editor, and full-time gardener. Like Flossy ORielly, she counts Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Shakespeare among her favourite authors. She has lived in France and Peru, but calls Canada home. In 1992 she published Katharine: A Biography of Dr. Katharine Boehner Hockin. Great Village is her first novel.


“Mary Rose Donnelly … has crafted a poetic and, at times, surprisingly pithy first novel that will transport you to the shores of Cobequid Bay, N.S.”
– Canadian Living

“With intriguing characters, an engaging writing style and a plot rich with surprising developments, Donnelly’s first novel kept this reader turning pages into the early hours of the morning. Great Village, in my opinion, is a great novel by a gifted writer.”
– Atlantic Books Today

“A rich, resonating and melancholy narrative that copies the local tides in its ebb and flow.”
– Truro Daily News

“[Donnelly is] a master storyteller who, in Great Village, weaves effortlessly, to and fro, across the 20th century, binding art, literature, the natural world and human nature together into a tale that sparkles like sunlight on the waves of Cobequid Bay.”
– Saint John Telegraph-Journal


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Excerpts & Samples ×

Retired schoolteacher Flossy O’Reilly has spent almost all of her eight decades in the seaside community of Great Village, Nova Scotia. It is now a quiet Maritime village: where relationships between friends and family move at the pace of the tides; where there is no rush because, sooner or later, everyone finds out what they need to know with a trip to the general store.

When Ruth, the teenaged granddaughter of an old friend, arrives from Ontario for a three-week stay, time suddenly catches up with Great Village. As Flossy watches the sometimes tactless young woman grow into her own, she begins to question whether maintaining the calm surface of her life was worth keeping secrets from and about those closest to her — or if everyone could benefit from a little more candour.

With grace, patience, and wisdom, Mary Rose Donnelly paints a rich portrait of life in small-town Nova Scotia, and of relationships as charming as they are complex.

Reader Reviews



320 Pages


May 02, 2011


Cormorant Books



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Literary


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