Late in August, we headed north. We had rented a cottage on the Southern Shores of Nova Scotia for our end-of-summer vacation. There was no phone, no TV, and no Wifi. Instead, we got seals, beautiful deserted beaches, and s’mores every night. It was pure bliss. Thanks to Naomi’s help during the planning stage and her way-too-short visit at the cottage, we were able to pack quite a bit of sightseeing, nature, and history into our week-long vacation.
I was even able to do some reading, thanks to the absolutely wonderful, child-friendly backyard at the cottage. I had quite a bit of fun looking at our map while reading.
Howard Norman’s What Is Left the Daughter takes place during the beginning of World War II. Wyatt Hillyear has to move in with his aunt and uncle because both of his parents committed suicide within hours of each other. Wyatt instantly falls in love with his cousin Tilda, who just as quickly falls in love with a German exchange student. Then German submarines are starting to target the ferries leaving Nova Scotia. Emotions run high, and the consequences of several impulsive actions are tragic. The ending of this book packs quite a punch, and I had to read it twice to fully grasp it. The characters often drive from the town of Middle Economy to Truro; they must have taken Route 2. (We didn’t have enough time to do the same.)
Lawrence Hill’s Someone Knows My Name (also published as The Book of Negroes) is a book I can’t recommend highly enough. I was absolutely enthralled by it. Aminata, the main character, doesn’t spend that much time in Shelburne, but since it wasn’t far from where we were, I had to include it in this post.
Thanks again to Naomi, my Nova Scotia to-read list has quadrupled in size since our return. On top of my pile is Thomas Raddall’s Hangman’s Beach. (You can read Naomi’s review here.) You can’t see it on the map, but he has a national park named after him, and it’s right next to Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, where we went hiking one afternoon.
We already know that we’ll go back one day, because there’s lots more to discover. And just in case we make it to Prince Edward Island then, I prepared. Because, really, who could resist this beautiful box set of Anne of Green Gables? (Thanks to Eva, who first made me aware of this whimsical edition.)