Reading books has always been one of my greatest sources of pleasure. To be invited to libraries to read from my first novel Arriving: 1909 –1919 is an incredibly enriching experience for me.

As I was preparing for the first of many library appearances—commencing with the Spruce Grove and St. Albert Public Libraries during Seniors’ Week—I marvelled at how my life has brought me to this juncture that I could only dream about as a young girl.

I vividly remember during my high school years in a consolidated secondary school reading every book in the library which held even the faintest interest for me. I read many of the Great Russian and English classics (most notably Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), time after time, and to this day they remain two of my favourite novels.

It was in the realm of books that I could quickly escape some of the harsh realities of growing up on a farm in a day and age when we did without a host of the modern conveniences we all take for granted now: running water, flush toilets, gas furnaces, electric stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and automatic washers and dryers.

Still, my own childhood experiences heightened my insight into some of the day-to-day challenges and real hardships of the Werner family in Arriving as they struggled to survive and flourish in the pioneer world of the Canadian prairies.

With our current innovative and electronic advancements, I am eternally thankful that so many people continue to enjoy reading printed books. I am especially grateful to all my readers, many of whom have provided me with the most wonderful comments.

Some of your most recent remarks include:

“I received Arriving as a birthday present, and have found it to be absolutely fascinating.”

“I really enjoyed Arriving! I could actually hear you reading the book to me because your vocabulary choice was true to the way I recall you speaking when last we met 37 years ago.”

“What a delicious book you have written. Big standing ovation for such super storytelling!”

Sincerest accolades to all my readers, many of whom I have had the engaging experience of meeting at readings, signings, and most delightfully when I have been invited to join your book clubs. Book lovers are giving my Understanding Ursula trilogy a thriving voice.



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