Books, Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Velkommen
Now here’s a cute little story. Well, almost. It’s disjointed, no one put the pieces together. The editor must have been fishing. Judith Williams writes well and the setting is perfect. Post WWII Refuge Cove on West Redonda Island. The solar plexus of Desolation Sound. A handful of hearty independent thinkers willing to claw at the edges of an island to build a home and a life. They are independent, perhaps-eccentric, out-of-the-mainstream types; that provides a palette of vibrant colors with which to paint a narrative on a gray granite surface.
What common thread binds the story together? The use of Dynamite. Do I see raised eywbrows? If you are going to carve out a life on a rock what else would you use to level a bit of the playing field? Character development is begun early with interesting vignettes of the Refuge Cove residents. The reader starts to feel a sense of community and continuity. Toss in a few pages about the history of dynamite and the Nobel Peace Prize. Then bounce back to the Ripple Rock explosion, not Refuge Cove, but it is Desolation Sound. By now the character development is fading and the reader starts feeling bounced around. Well, if disjointed is king, let’s run to the Fraser River and Hell’s Gate Canyon then Chatterbox Falls. Now it’s time to get back on Redonda Island for more character development. Characters must be scarce so toss in a dead cougar and a dead bear. Still searching for a conclusion let’s see if Bute Wax and gold prospecting can tidy up the ending. An interesting read. Make Judith do a rewrite and fire Terry Glavin the editor. It will never be a prizewinner, but Dynamite Stories deserved to be better.
Click the front cover to see the back.