The Western Light praised as “a novel for all generations”

 
 

The reviews are in and the praise for Susan Swan’s The Western Light is coming in from critics and readers alike. Here is one of the latest articles from New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal:

Susan Swan explores Ontario’s merciless winters, hockey, family, health care, boomtown Petrolia, and the joys and sorrows of being human in The Western Light. The quintessential Canadian story revisits Mary Beatrice Bradford in a prequel to The Wives of Bath, Swan’s best-selling novel published a decade ago. Madoc’s Landing is a fictional small Ontario town on Georgian Bay, but it echoes Swan’s hometown of Midland, Ont. Mary leaves home for Toronto’s Bath Ladies College in the late 1950s. Having grieved the loss of her mother as a child, and still walking with a limp in her leg from Polio, Mary seeks her father’s affections throughout her life. Morley, the local doctor, is preoccupied with his workload, so his daughter is raised by Sal, the housekeeper and inevitably Mary’s step-mother, and her Aunt Louise. Mary narrates The Western Light from her seasoned vantage point, a period of “time of non-bleeding.” Ex-hockey hero John Pilkie, serving time at a new nearby psychiatric hospital for murdering his baby and wife, needs Morley’s help and thus begins an unusual friendship with a rather naive Mary. At the core of the novel, each character struggles with right and wrong and the balances of life. It’s a portrait of humanness, suffering the limitations and luxuries of desire, consequence, and history. Swan’s elegant diction and structural flow is seamless. This is a novel for all generations.

 
Shannon Webb-Campbell for the Telegraph-Journal

“[Swan’s] poetic descriptions of Ontario’s harsh winter weather and adept use of colloquial speech … are particularly vivid, and help bring the world of the novel to vibrant life.”

Quill and Quire


“Mouse Bradford is a unique and luminous creation… Gentleman John Pilkie, the hockey killer with a heart of gold, is dressed and ready to become a legend.”

— Paul Gross


“With its focus on winter in northern towns, pre-medicare medicine, hockey and the very relevant issue ofconcussions among professional athletes, Swan has added another gem to the Canadian canon.”

NOW Magazine 


 

“In a splendid evocation of the 50s, The Western Light speaks of memory, searching and love — both requited and unrequited. It is great read”

-Sylvia Sutherland (reader review from Amazon.ca)


For more articles and reviews for The Western Light, click on the links below:  

Cover story in September issue of Quill & Quire:

 CLICK HERE TO READ

Chatelaine review:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Review in NOW magazine:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Interview on CFRU Guelph Community Campus Radio:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Review in Quill & Quire:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Included in The Canadian Press fall 2012 preview:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Open Book Toronto Word on the Street interview:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Petroliatopic Article: Lambton oil history gets novel treatment by best-selling author

CLICK HERE TO READ

The London Free Press: Swan Switches Focus to Heroism

 CLICK HERE TO READ

The Canadian Press: Susan Swan explores thoughts on her own late father with ‘The Western Light’

CLICK HERE TO READ

The New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal:

CLICK HERE TO READ

Visit The Western Light page.

 

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