Photo by S. Mattison
On March 21, 2023 member Helle K. presented on Canadian author Mary Lawson. Helle has been a member of the CWLC since 2010, when she was introduced to the club by member Ritta V. She discovered the works of Lawson through our program theme and fell in love with the way the author writes, reading some of her books twice.
Mary Lawson uses the isolation of small town Northern Ontario to create tensions and interactions between characters that would not occur in the big city. While the author has lived in London (UK) for many years, she draws inspiration from the landscape of her youth, setting her novels in the 1960’s and 70’s. Helle read a passage from Crow Lake, which described the setting of the story, which for Helle evoked memories of the northern Canada town where her own father worked.
After writing the very successful Crow Lake at the age of 55, Ms. Lawson wrote 2 additional books in the same setting, using some of the same characters. While not billed as such, Helle sees these first three books as a trilogy. The Other Side of the Bridge and Road Ends are page turners that highlight family dynamics and how people move forward from life’s tragedies. The plots come together as a result of how characters develop. Helle found that Road Ends is an apt title for the last of these three books, as this expression can mean the end of a journey, the end of a story, or the end of a life.
Helle next read from A Town Called Solace, the author’s fourth book. The books plot was inspired by a glimpse of 4 boxes through a window. The novel shows how three characters come together, and shows the reader what’s in the packing boxes.
While no one knows what the future holds, Helle hopes that more works are forthcoming from Ms. Lawson, perhaps even a novel set in London.
Next week, we welcome guest speaker Dr. Robert Boschman. Dr. Boschman currently chairs the department of English, Languages, and Cultures at Mount Royal University. Along with essay anthologies, he has published a book entitled White Coal City: A Memoir of Place and Family (2021).
At this meeting we welcomed a new member. We love to meet new people who enjoy literature. Will you be the next new member?