Rides That Way by Susan Ketchen

Sylvia is gal­lop­ing through life as only a four­teen year old can do. At school there are friends, bul­lies and worse. Dinner with her par­ents is like sid­ling through a field of land mines. And all of a sud­den she’s Keeper of the Secrets: her own, her grandpa’s and her rid­ing coach’s.

Then there’s the whole hor­mone thing. Those mys­ter­i­ous en­tit­ies that surge through a teen’s body mak­ing them emo­tion­al and af­fect­ing their bod­ies in very no­tice­able ways. Only Sylvia isn’t hav­ing that prob­lem. She has Turner Syndrome, which means she’ll al­ways be short and have to wear kids’ clothes the rest of her life be­cause her body will nev­er de­vel­op. Unless she wears es­tro­gen patches and she’s not sure about that.

In fact, the only thing Sylvia’s sure about is that she loves hanging out in the barn, lu­cid dream­ing and do­ing the for­bid­den — gal­lop­ing her horse, Brooklyn. Well, Logan Losino, the cute guy at school, is pretty dis­tract­ing too.

Rides That Way is funny, warm and per­cept­ive. An un­pre­dict­able plot keeps the read­er turn­ing pages as Sylvia struggles to come to terms with be­ing a teen and hav­ing Turner Syndrome. No mat­ter what, she’s de­term­ined to be her true self and find ac­cept­ance on her own terms.

Rides That Way is the fourth book in Susan Ketchen’s Born That Way series. Each book delves into the life of Sylvia as she nav­ig­ates the chal­lenges that re­la­tion­ships with people and an­im­als present. And, al­though the books are stand-alone reads, once you’ve sampled one, you’ll be eager to ex­plore more of Sylvia’s world.

Although typ­ic­ally classed as young adult nov­els, Ketchen’s char­ac­ters gen­er­ate fan mail from read­ers age 12 to 82 cre­at­ing their own niche as fam­ily fic­tion. Gently pok­ing fun at the quirky thoughts and ac­tions of people at every age is one of the things Ketchen does best.

Ketchen, a former mar­riage and fam­ily coun­sel­lor, lives in Courtenay, BC on a river­side farm along with her hus­band, two cats, a multi-trick pony and a flock of geri­at­ric chickens.

For more in­form­a­tion vis­it www​.susanketchen​.ca.

       Ketchen will be sign­ing books at Laughing Oyster Bookshop in down­town Courtenay on Saturday, September 30 from 1:003:00 pm. 

Ketchen and her horse, Lolli, who knows more tricks than most dogs.

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This is one of those pick it up and can’t put it down books. Station Eleven is en­ga­ging, com­pel­ling and eer­ily plausible.

The nov­el, re­leased in Sept. 2014, is writ­ten by Emily St. John Mandel who was born and raised on the west coast of Canada and now resides in New York City. For part of her youth, she was homeschooled on Denman Island which is cur­rently home to about 1,000.

But don’t just take my word about the book. Station Eleven has re­ceived rave re­views, ap­peared on the New York Times Bestseller list, been writ­ten about in The New Yorker and was short­l­is­ted for the 2014 National Book Awards.

Published by Harper Avenue  ISBN 978-1-44343-486-7
Published by Harper Avenue
ISBN 9781443434867

The book is in its six­teenth print­ing and Mandel has tour dates booked in the USA, United Kingdom, France and be­yond into the spring of 2016.

The story takes place some­time in the fu­ture after a cata­stroph­ic pan­dem­ic wipes out huge seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion and des­troys life as we know it. That means no in­ter­net, tele­vi­sion, air­planes, auto­mo­biles or even gro­cery stores. Who sur­vives and what must they do in or­der to do so?

In Station Eleven, Mandel de­vel­ops a cast of char­ac­ters, most not­ably a Shakespearian/​music troupe, who travel through­out the Great Lakes re­gion. They search empty homes for canned goods, camp out in Walmart’s and air­port ter­min­als and do their best to avoid re­li­gious fan­at­ics and fam­il­ies who have gone feral.

The writ­ing is a seam­less ex­plor­a­tion of per­son­al­it­ies and re­la­tion­ships, al­li­ances and con­front­a­tions. Mandel takes the read­er on an epic jour­ney from past to present to por­tray a vis­ion of en­dur­ance, friend­ship and compassion.

In my former po­s­i­tion as arts writer for the Comox Valley Record, I in­ter­viewed Mandel and re­viewed her first two nov­els, Last Night in Montréal and The Singer’s Gun. Those books were good but Station Eleven is ex­cel­lent.

And al­though I usu­ally shy away from books that even hint at dysto­pi­an sci­ence fic­tion, Mandel’s mas­ter­ful and genre de­fy­ing writ­ing found me eagerly pick­ing up Station Eleven each even­ing and sorry to reach the end.

A few words from Emily:

I wanted to write some­thing quite dif­fer­ent from my pre­vi­ous three nov­els, which were gen­er­ally cat­egor­ized as lit­er­ary noir. I was happy with the way they turned out, but thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to go in a dif­fer­ent dir­ec­tion. I love film and theatre, and am in­ter­ested in the idea of what it means to de­vote your life to your art, so de­cided to write about the life of an actor.

At the same time, I was in­ter­ested in writ­ing about the mod­ern world, this ex­traordin­ary place in which we find ourselves: where wa­ter comes out of faucets, air­planes cross the sky, light­ing a room is as simple as flick­ing a switch on the wall, and an­ti­bi­ot­ics are available. 

One way of writ­ing about some­thing is to con­sider its ab­sence, so I thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to set the book in a post-apo­ca­lyptic land­scape, as a way of con­sid­er­ing the mod­ern world. I think of the book as a love let­ter to the mod­ern world, writ­ten in the form of a requiem.

I wrote Station Eleven over the course of two and a half years and spent an­oth­er three months edit­ing it once I sold it to my pub­lish­er.  I’m cur­rently work­ing on a new nov­el but the top­ic’s a secret!  

To find out more vis­it www​.emily​man​del​.com.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This is one of those pick it up and can’t put it down books. Station Eleven is en­ga­ging, com­pel­ling and eer­ily plausible.

The nov­el, re­leased in Sept. 2014, is writ­ten by Emily St. John Mandel who was born and raised on the west coast of Canada and now resides in New York City. For part of her youth, she was homeschooled on Denman Island which is cur­rently home to about 1,000.

But don’t just take my word about the book. Station Eleven has re­ceived rave re­views, ap­peared on the New York Times Bestseller list, been writ­ten about in The New Yorker and was short­l­is­ted for the 2014 National Book Awards.

Published by Harper Avenue  ISBN 978-1-44343-486-7
Published by Harper Avenue
ISBN 9781443434867

The book is in its six­teenth print­ing and Mandel has tour dates booked in the USA, United Kingdom, France and be­yond into the spring of 2016.

The story takes place some­time in the fu­ture after a cata­stroph­ic pan­dem­ic wipes out huge seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion and des­troys life as we know it. That means no in­ter­net, tele­vi­sion, air­planes, auto­mo­biles or even gro­cery stores. Who sur­vives and what must they do in or­der to do so?

In Station Eleven, Mandel de­vel­ops a cast of char­ac­ters, most not­ably a Shakespearian/​music troupe, who travel through­out the Great Lakes re­gion. They search empty homes for canned goods, camp out in Walmart’s and air­port ter­min­als and do their best to avoid re­li­gious fan­at­ics and fam­il­ies who have gone feral.

The writ­ing is a seam­less ex­plor­a­tion of per­son­al­it­ies and re­la­tion­ships, al­li­ances and con­front­a­tions. Mandel takes the read­er on an epic jour­ney from past to present to por­tray a vis­ion of en­dur­ance, friend­ship and compassion.

In my former po­s­i­tion as arts writer for the Comox Valley Record, I in­ter­viewed Mandel and re­viewed her first two nov­els, Last Night in Montréal and The Singer’s Gun. Those books were good but Station Eleven is ex­cel­lent.

And al­though I usu­ally shy away from books that even hint at dysto­pi­an sci­ence fic­tion, Mandel’s mas­ter­ful and genre de­fy­ing writ­ing found me eagerly pick­ing up Station Eleven each even­ing and sorry to reach the end.

A few words from Emily:

I wanted to write some­thing quite dif­fer­ent from my pre­vi­ous three nov­els, which were gen­er­ally cat­egor­ized as lit­er­ary noir. I was happy with the way they turned out, but thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to go in a dif­fer­ent dir­ec­tion. I love film and theatre, and am in­ter­ested in the idea of what it means to de­vote your life to your art, so de­cided to write about the life of an actor.

At the same time, I was in­ter­ested in writ­ing about the mod­ern world, this ex­traordin­ary place in which we find ourselves: where wa­ter comes out of faucets, air­planes cross the sky, light­ing a room is as simple as flick­ing a switch on the wall, and an­ti­bi­ot­ics are available. 

One way of writ­ing about some­thing is to con­sider its ab­sence, so I thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to set the book in a post-apo­ca­lyptic land­scape, as a way of con­sid­er­ing the mod­ern world. I think of the book as a love let­ter to the mod­ern world, writ­ten in the form of a requiem.

I wrote Station Eleven over the course of two and a half years and spent an­oth­er three months edit­ing it once I sold it to my pub­lish­er.  I’m cur­rently work­ing on a new nov­el but the top­ic’s a secret!  

To find out more vis­it www​.emily​man​del​.com.

.