Book Talks: My Secret Sister and How to Write a Novel: A Novel

my secret sisterMy Secret Sister by Helen Edwards

Helen grew up in the post-war years, with her gran, aunties and uncles living nearby. She felt safe with them, but they could not protect her from her neglectful mother and violent father. Behind closed doors, she suffered years of abuse. Sometimes she talked to an imaginary sister, the only one who understood her pain.

Jenny was adopted at six weeks. An only child, she knew she was loved, and with the support of her parents she went on to become a golfing champion, but still she felt that something was missing.

Neither women knew of the other’s existence until, in her fifties, Jenny went looking for her birth family and found her sister Helen. Together they searched for the truth about Jenny’s birth and uncovered a legacy of secrets that overturned everything Helen thought she knew about her family. Happily, they also discovered that they were not just sisters, they were twins. Inspirational and moving, My Secret Sister by Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith is the true story of two women brave enough to confront their past, and strong enough to let love, not bitterness, define them.

My Secret Sister can be requested through any of the eight branches of the Haliburton County Public Library.


how to write a novelHow to write a novel: a novel by Melanie Sumner

Twelve and a half year old Aristotle Thibodeau loves to write, so when she gets the book Write a Novel in 30 Days! she begins to write the Great American Novel – starting with what she knows, her family.

In How to write a novel: a novel by Melanie Sumner, Aris and Max have just moved to Georgia from Alaska with their widowed mother, having just lost their father to a tragic car accident. Aris is a budding writer, and has thrown herself into writing a novel with the hopes of making a million dollars which would give her family a fresh start. Her main characters include Diane, her overwhelmed single mother who is still grieving the death of her father, her grandmother and grandfather who always seem to be sweating the small stuff, and Penn the salt of the earth handyman who Aris would like to see her mother accept as the perfect man – because every good novel needs a love story, right?

Compared by some to Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project and Maria Semple’s Where’d you go, Bernadette?, How to write a novel: a novel by Melanie Sumner is a hilarious and heartwarming story. It is available at the Haliburton county Public Library.

*Originally aired 0n 100.9 CANOE FM, August 9 – August 22, 2015.


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