Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tides of Honour - Recommend Reading



World War 1.  The war that would end all wars.
Danny Baker is a Nova Scotia small town fisherman.
He bravely heads overseas to serve King and Country.



He would return home a broken man, both physically and mentally.
With his new British wife, he tries adjusting to life back from the war.
But his mind will not leave the trenches.
Nor will his mind release him from this cruel and savage war.
 

Battle of the Somme


And no relief is in sight for this soldier, he finally makes it back from the Great War,
when the entire city he lives in explodes.
The Halifax Explosion.

A broken man, a lost city, a nation at war, a broken dream.
Will he be able to find his way back from the ruins, from his own personal demons?

 

This was a good read.  I was not far along before I had to pull out the box of tissue.
Genevieve capture that heart wrenching time period of Canadian soldiers at war.
This time period in history was so innocent.  The men who went into this war had no idea what lie ahead.
This book explores the reality of post traumatic stress disorder.  A disorder that was not recognized at that time.  And was not treated.

I learned more about the Halifax Explosion from this book, then I ever did in history class at school.
It also lead me to additional Google research for information and pictures from this tragedy in Canadian history.

My family and I happen to travel through Halifax after the 2007 Hurricane Noel.
It was devastating, so much destruction - this city has had it's share of hits.
Halifax has definitely made it's mark in history, it is also the final resting place of the victims of the Titanic.



Meet the Author


Meet Genevieve Graham, a Nova Scotia historical authoress.
Raised in Toronto, Ontario, now residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
 A University of Toronto graduate with a Bachelor of Music In Performance.
For a list of her previous books, visit her website at www.genevievegraham.com

In Her Own Words

"I write historical fiction, which obviously means I write about things which happened in history. So I'm kind of ashamed to admit that when I was in high school (back in the Dark Ages), I slept through history. To me, history class was nothing but a series of endless dreary hours filled with memorizing names and dates which meant absolutely nothing to me. As my teenage daughters now say, “Why do we have to learn about something that already happened?”

Through reading historical fiction as an adult, I was introduced to the past in a whole new way. At first, I didn't think of the books as “history”. I just considered them to be an escape from day to day life. Over time I started thinking more about the actual characters, wondering who they might have been. What would they be like if they lived today? Would we understand each other? Would they be driven by the same desires, needs, and goals? If someone from 2015—just a regular John or Jane or Genevieve—was suddenly transported back to the 18th, 19th, or 20th century, what would they do?

Then I clued in to the fact that many of the fictional characters were caught up in battles … which had actually happened. That meant some of the characters in the books had actually existed. The more I thought about that fact, the more fascinated I became with historical fiction.

One day in 2007 I sat down to try my hand at writing for the very first time. You know, just for fun. I emerged three hours later, beaming and clutching pages and pages of 18th century Scottish adventure. I had researched real historical figures and moments in time, and I'd woven fictional stories and people through what had really happened. In effect, I'd brought the dead back to life!

Fast forward to 2008, when my family and I moved from Alberta to Nova Scotia. I happened to see a CBC video called “Shattered City”, which was all about the Halifax Explosion. I thought it was a fictional story. It was not.

Now, I know I said I slept through history class, but I also know I was never taught about an explosion in Halifax which was larger than any other manmade explosion before Hiroshima. I'd never heard of an explosion on December 6, 1916, which killed 1,500 people in one moment, blinded hundreds of others with a hailstorm of glass, and left over 8,000 people homeless. How is it possible that I didn't know about it?

As of today, only one survivor from that catastrophe of almost exactly 100 years ago is still here. The rest are dead, and the Explosion has faded into another page in the history books, and students are expected to memorize the names and dates. Except even now that we're living in Nova Scotia, they aren't teaching it. I don't believe it's in the Halifax School Board's curriculum.

So I decided to bring the dead back to life. And not just the Explosion. I dug into the war and the changing roles of women during that period, and I imagined myself sitting down to dinner with a fisherman's family in 1915. As with all my books, the characters appeared to me as if they were on a movie screen, and they patiently led me through the story. I laughed and cried with them, because in my mind they were alive.
In my acknowledgements at the end of the book, I dedicated Tides of Honour to the memory of those people who experienced the lives and events of which I wrote. Whether or not they're my own characters, I don't want them to be forgotten. I also hope the story will somehow reach a few of those bored students and shake them awake, because history may be in the past, but it doesn't have to be dead."

Genevieve Graham
April 2015



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3 comments:

  1. Oooh Diane...that does sound good! Great format for a review. I love war tales!

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  2. Oh this sounds like an excellent read! I will have to see if I can find it at Chapters. My father fought in WWI so it would bring some of it to light. Thanks for the review Diane. Have a good weekend. Pam

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  3. I feel the same, I snored through history at school with mild interest, but now, through historical fiction, I can't get enough!

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