The writer is from the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in the midwest with her husband and two children.
Song for the Soul Catcherby Janine Gregory
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Ren’s world is changing and out of her control. It is 1984, her grandfather, her only close relative, is dying. A University of British Columbia graduate student, she is on her way to becoming an art history professor and author. Half Haida Indian and half French Canadian, Ren is passionate about Pacific Northwest Coast art, the environment, and her Haida heritage.
As she finishes her last year of school she meets Zeff, a musician on tour in a British rock band. Drawn to him by a shared interest in art and music, and against her better judgment, she explores their intense mutual attraction.
In the spring, they make a trip to Haida Gwaii for her grandfathers’ memorial potlatch. Zeff meets her extended family, friends, and even an old boyfriend. She takes him camping in the forest and he marvels at her knowledge of plants and trees. He had seen clear-cuts from the air, but it was very different seeing the devastation from the ground. He feels her helplessness and, as if a dam has burst, on the trip home she unleashes an emotional outpouring of pent-up frustration and anger about logging on Haida Gwaii. Zeff is on another planet, experiencing and learning new things.
Ren’s daily rhythm is changed again when the record company cuts off the funding for the band and they are forced back home. When necessity dictates, Zeff returns to his nomadic way of life. Should Ren join him?
Enriching the story are real events occurring in British Columbia, including the Lyell Island Logging Protest of November 1985, the National Train Caravan across Canada in the spring of 1986, the launch of the Lootaas, the Wave Eater Canoe at Expo 1986, and the creation of the South Moresby Reserve on Haida Gwaii in 1987. Interwoven in their daily lives are encounters with B.C. timber management, friends, enemies, alcoholism, hockey, soccer, Haida beliefs, and the god of the ocean, the Orca.
- Janine Gregory
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Great read. Loved the characters. I cared about what they cared about.