Book Talks: A Large Harmonium & The Brides of Rollrock Island

A Large Harmonium by Sue Sorensen

a large harmoniumDr. Janet Erlicksen is an English professor at a college in Winnipeg – and she is slowly becoming unraveled. As she juggles her various roles – loving wife, doting mother, thriving academic – she is crippled by self-doubt. Janey knows she is a lucky woman with a solid, respectable job, a wonderful husband, and a beautiful albeit rambunctious little boy, but author Sue Sorensen  shows us how an otherwise fine life can be undercut by these nagging feelings of uncertainty. Filled with literary witticisms and featuring a fun, neurotic narrator desperate for your empathy, A Large Harmonium by Sue Sorensen is a quirky Canadian read for you to discover in print of e-book formats from the Haliburton County Public Library.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

On the remote island of Rollrock, men not only make their living by the sea, but also fetch their wives from the tumultuous waters. When mistreated witch Miskkaella learns that she holds the power to draw the form of a woman from the body of a seal, she enacts her the brides of rollrock islandrevenge, coaxing the beauty from the beast for any man, but for a price. And though the man may tell himself he is the master of his seal wife, one look in his new bride’s eyes will ensnare them both, causing them to become bound to each other, but leaving the wives torn from the sea. Told from multiple perspectives, Margo Lanagan’s deeply insightful The Brides of Rollrock Island brings readers into a world in which the consequences of revenge exacted upon a community combines with unchecked desire fuelled by sorrow, and results in far reaching and unforeseen effects.

*originally aired on 100.9 Canoe FM from March 6 – 20, 2013



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