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Euphoria

by Connie Gault

Euphoria

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A bond between a young girl and an abandoned baby encompasses eastern and western Canada, from 1890s Toronto to the Regina Cyclone.

A historical novel that chronicles the life of Gladdie McConnell and her seemingly mysterious connection to Orillia Cooper. The importance of sex, of love, of mothers and daughters, all are themes running through this novel. The nurturing and love from our mothers ( be it traditional or not) is paramount to real survival.

The opening prologue, set in Toronto in the late 1880's, connects Gladdie to Orillia in a way she didn't think possible. When Gladdie, a Toronto boarding house servant, makes a promise to an abandoned day-old child in 1891, she means to keep it. A host of obstacles, including her station in life, a determined adoptive family and half a continent of distance, isn't going to stop her. Schooled in adversity, and red-headed - like all the best indomitable heroines - she knows how to persevere.

The twists and turns of Gladdie' helpmate life lead her to the summer of 1912, when twenty-year-old Orillia Cooper wakes up from surgery after being struck down by the Regina Cyclone. It has taken a tornado - and a devastating injury to Orillia - to bring them back together, because Orillia is that same child. However, she has no idea who Gladdie McConnell really is; she's just a friend when she is in need of one.

An engaging cast of characters inhabits Euphoria, bringing both eastern and western Canada at the turn of the 20th century to vivid life. This beguiling novel, with its quiet intelligence, wit and comedy of errors, is about the stories we want to believe in, and more importantly, about the value that may exist in wishes that don't come true.

DETAILS

ISBN
9781550504095
Size
5" x 8" 392 pages
Ages:
Adult
Price
21.0 CDN; 19.0 USD
E-Book Price
CDN; USD
Categories
Fiction Tradepaper Adult
Author
Connie Gault
Author Photo

About the Author

Connie Gault writes fiction and plays. Her published works include the Coteau Books short story collections, Some of Eve's Daughters(1987), and Inspection of a Small Village (1996). She has also published four plays, Sky, The Soft Eclipse, Otherwise Bob, and Red Lips. Her work has appeared in anthologies such as The Oxford Book of Stories by Canadian Women, Turn of the Story: Canadian Stories for the Millennium, and Best Canadian Stories, as well as in several drama anthologies.

Her plays have been produced across Canada and her radio dramas have aired on CBC and the BBC World Service. Her work has also been presented internationally in Ireland, Bermuda, the United States and Mexico. Inspection of a Small Village, the title story of her second collection, received the Prairie Schooner Reader's Choice Award from the University of Nebraska in 1994. Another story The Fat Lady with the Thin Face, was adapted for a film, Solitude, produced by Regina' Robin Schlacht. The collection received the 1996 City of Regina Book Award at the Saskatchewan Book Awards.

She is the 2007 recipient of the City of Regina Writing Award. A past fiction editor of Grain magazine, she has taught many creative writing classes and often mentors emerging writers through the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Mentorship Program. Born in rural Saskatchewan, she has lived in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia and now makes her home in Regina. Euphoria is her first novel.

From the Author: The past, as somebody said, is another country. In fact, it's less knowable than another country, because we can't go there, we can only read history, biography and literature to discover the past, and we have to use our imaginations in order to try to understand it. I wrote Euphoria because I wanted to see what it might have been like to live - here, in Canada, as a woman - in my great-grandmother's and grandmother's day. I wanted to follow the path my ancestors had taken, as many others did, from Ontario to the wide open plains of Saskatchewan. Ultimately, I want to know who I am, where I came from. I'm also interested in what happens after big events, rather than during them. That's why the novel focusses on the summer after the Regina tornado of 1912. To me, the drama of human experience consists of how we go on after misfortune, catastrophe or tragedy.

As for the influence of the present on the novel, I slowly became aware, as I wrote, that I was exploring a mother-daughter relationship. It shouldn't have been a surprise since my own mother was very ill at the time, and we were embroiled in our own relationship. Also, the part of the novel that takes place during the summer of 1912 is set in the Regina neighbourhood where I live.

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