Last Monday we hit the mid-season mark of the Spring 2019 Grimsby Author Series. On this sunny spring evening we were so delighted to welcome our two guests, Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper, to the Casablanca Winery Inn. Our wine sponsor for the evening, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, provided delectable selections for us to sample from their Fancy Farm Girl line including their rich Flamboyant Red and their crisp and fruity Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc. With a great glass of wine in hand, a packed house and two amazing authors, we knew it was going to be a night to remember!
Shelley Wood was up first and provided the audience with a heartfelt reading from her new novel The Quintland Sisters. Beautifully written, expertly researched and now a national bestseller, this book is a fictionalized account of the 1934 Dionne Quintuplet sensation. The story of 5 girls born on a single night to one woman blew up all over national and international media, and turned their lives into a spectacle. Reading the news clippings and accounts from the time, you find that they are all from the harsh perspective of a spectator; someone from the outside looking in. Shelley wanted to shift that lens to by creating a character who was an insider, someone who loves these kids for who they are, and not for the exhibition they became. What follows is not only an account of the first few years of the quintuplets’ lives, but the beautiful coming-of-age story of Emma, the fictional nurse Shelley created to love and take care of them. As she writes in her private journals, Emma gives us a view into the madness, heartache and human element that is often left out of the public story.
Up next we welcomed Andrew Pyper for his fifth time at the Grimsby Author Series to speak about his chilling latest novel The Homecoming. It is a book about family secrets and false memories. It is one of those stories that you think you have pegged from the beginning, only to have the author skillfully pull the rug out from under you with a completely unexpected twist. Andrew’s writing skills build palpable tension while weaving a complex yet page-turning narrative. In The Homecoming, the reader along with the characters themselves think they know the whole story. For the characters, what unfolds is their terrifying and shocking realization that everything they ever thought to be true about their family, is not. Andrew is a prolific writer in an industry saturated with thriller novels, but over and over again he finds a way to break the mold, and this book is no different. His writing is as sharp as his delivery on stage is hilarious, and we’ll welcome him back any time. Go Leafs go!
Thanks so much to Shelley and Andrew for sharing their wonderful books with us and staying afterwards to sign copies for eager fans. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s Florists, Objects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped Tea, Elipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art Shoppe, Theatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts, and to Epic Books of Hamilton for being coming to sell books!