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First Fiction Fridays: All My Sins by Daryl Sneath
All My Sins is a novel about a twenty-seven-year-old high school English teacher—Ben Dunn—who is escorted from his classroom one afternoon because the principal and the local authorities have good reason to believe he has been trafficking marijuana to students. He has not. Been trafficking marijuana to students, that is.
All My Sins (Now or Never Publishing, 2014)
Daryl Sneath was raised in a small town near a lake. Currently he shares his days with his wife, Tara, and their three children—Ethan, Penelope, and Abigael—in another small town near a river, that being Seagrave, Ontario.
Why you need to read this now:
All My Sins is a novel about a twenty-seven-year-old high school English teacher—Ben Dunn—who is escorted from his classroom one afternoon because the principal and the local authorities have good reason to believe he has been trafficking marijuana to students. He has not. Been trafficking marijuana to students, that is. He has, however, slept with a student, which is why he believes the principal and the authorities have come for him. He resists—ingloriously and to no avail—and is taken away.
Years earlier—when he had no plans of becoming a teacher and every intention of becoming a giant in the music business as the lead singer of The River’s Edge—he met Aislinn Byrne, a soccer player from Dun Laoghaire who was on tour with her University team in Windsor, where Ben was a second-year English major. They spent three days together and, like in the movies, promised one day to meet again.
The ‘one day’ comes years later when Ben decides, after his removal from Heron River High School, to go to Ireland. Not long after arriving in Dun Laoghaire, Ben’s father dies. No one is able to reach Ben and so two weeks go by before he finds out. Still drunk from the night before, Ben finds himself at a café early one morning and on a whim calls one his former band mates who tells him about his father. In walks Aislinn Byrne. The reunion is not exactly what Ben had envisioned. Booker—friend, confidante, and former bassist for Ben’s once glory-bound band—invites Ben to St. John’s to clear his head. Ben says yes. After a night spent in the drunk-tank, Ben commissions Booker’s help in planning a revenge-plot against the man he blames for his forced removal from Heron River High School, Grant Richards. An attempted revenge ensues.
In the end, Ben wants to begin anew. He wants his name cleared. He wants to find Aislinn and apologize. He wants to wake up in the morning with a little less guilt and little more purpose. Maybe try his hand at the music again. Fix the things he’s broken. Undo the undoable. Make the kind of life for himself his father would be proud of. If only he could go back. But he’s stuck in the present. Where the past lingers and future looms. All My Sins is a gripping tale of love and loss told in clean, concise prose.