Sunday, 8 February 2015

Author Reception for Connie Gault, Jane Urquhart and Alix Hawley

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. Last week, the lovely staff at Random House Canada invited me to an Author Reception for Connie Gault, Jane Urquhart and Alix Hawley. I was so incredibly excited to attend because they are authors I have heard of, but never read anything from before. I have only heard praises when speaking about these authors and I also learned that they had some upcoming releases which they spoke at length about. 

The three new releases: All True Not A Lie In It, A Beauty & The Night Stages
Pictured above is the lovely set-up at the boardroom at RHC and the three authors pictured.

So let's talk about their books shall we? 

Alix Hawley's All True Not A Lie In It 
Hawley's book follows the story of Daniel Boone, an important figure of the Revolutionary War. Hawley told the audience that the story may be essentially about Boone, but she attempts to weave many narratives throughout the story, beginning with the pivotal moment of Boone dealing with the death (murder) of his son. Hawley also mentions that within this narrative, she looks at Boone's relationship with his wife and at the heart of it all, really tries to answer the question of Who was Daniel Boone? Alix actually has a lovely blog section on her website which I would recommend reading to catch up with her during her blog tour, which you can read more of here

Connie Gault's A Beauty
Gault's story follows the main character Elena. Gault started her speech by quoting the lovely Henry James and stated "all life belongs to you" and she said that it really resonated with her when putting the story together. The setting of Southern Saskatchewan has always been a place of myth for Gault, so she wanted to explore it further. The novel is set in the depression era and specifically in the summertime and focuses on two girls who were deserted by their father. The notion of how people wait in vain for what they want is what Gault really wanted to explore further. The main character of Elena crosses paths with another character Ruth and from there the story really unravels. Gault also mentioned a small tidbit that her family actually originated from that area so that is a part of the reason why she wanted to write the novel: to in a way, bring life to that area again. 

Jane Urquhart's The Night Stages
Before Urquhart spoke to the audience, the lovely editor introduced the story to us and mentioned that the content was quite dark and faced a lot of psychological components. It was accessible, but it was also quite tough with the subject matter and that was what she admired most about it. That it wasn't pretty and in fact, it was quite human. It takes place in a remote village in the 1940s in Ireland and it follows two brothers who are in conflict with one another and the woman that centres them. The editor stated that "you won't have a dry eye" when reading it and this really intrigued me because although it can be tough, I really enjoy emotionally charged subject matter. Jane went on to say that she found it quite difficult to kind of summarize this piece entirely for us and instead spoke about her inspirations for it. She stated that she found herself obsessed by an Irish bicycle race and the notion of things disappearing and loss and the idea of how to make them live again and to share them. For Jane, she wanted to explore a world that is disappearing and in a way bring it back to life - to reconstruct the house, the landscape, the cultural components. For her, she wanted to emphasize that the setting plays a significant role in the text. 

In conclusion, when looking at these three authors together, it was quite fitting that RHC decided to have a reception with all of them together. They take what is in a sense "lost" and bring new life to it and completely bring about a new "translation", so to speak. I am quite excited to explore more Canadian literature because all of these sound just wonderful. The authors were incredibly lovely as well, who took some time to meet me and other fellow bloggers. Lastly, many thanks again to RHC for hosting a lovely author reception! 

I cannot wait to dig into these books. You can expect a full review on the blog for these!

Let me know below in the comments if you've read anything from any of these authors and what did you think? 

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