For Shirley and Corporal Gil Bouchard, life on an army base in Kingston, Ontario is a constant struggle - a struggle to make ends meet, a struggle to raise children who are searching for their own identity and moral values, a struggle to cope with relatives who don't all share common language, or with neighbors who live by vastly different sensitivities. Sometimes, it seems, it is almost a struggle to survive.
Told from various points of view, Riel Street is a realistic portrait of a military family: never sentimental, often comical and occasionally sad. Beautifully written, it is utterly believable,a story of quiet courage, determination, grit and tenacity, a story of small everyday triumphs and occasional not so small tragedies - a story that could absolutely describe the lives of many Canadians during the pivotal epoch between Canada's centennial celebrations and the murder of Pierre LaPorte.
Reviews and Articles
"If Colette Maitland were a musician, you'd say she had perfect pitch. These stories push us to acknowledge the many flaws and faults that hamper human beings in the search for happiness...and then they push us further, into the realm of understanding, compassion, and forgiveness."
- Isabel Huggan
"Colette Maintland writes like a dream, with a touch that's compellingly subtle ...By the end I felt like I'd experienced a literary sleight-of-hand. I had to double-check that I was reading a debut collection and not the latest in a series of Maitland's wise and lovely books."
- Charlotte Gill
"Here are the stories you didn't know about the people you do know, and about strangers too, those people you pass on the street without giving them a second thought....a superb debut."
- Diane Schoemperlen
"Raymond Carver meets Norman Levine on these pages, which herald the appearance of a fine new writer of everyday realism."
- Antanas Sileika
A soldier's wife struggles to reconnect with her daughter after her husband is killed overseas. A baby abandoned at the rectory door inflames a town with gossip. A dog is shot. A heart attack survivor perplexes his family with a new found sense of religious euphoria, while a nursing home volunteer struggles with the bad behavior of one of her veteran patients. Compassionate, clear-eyed, probing grief and insularity, Colette Maitland's short fiction debut shows us the price of keeping the peace in a small town.
Reviews and Articles
How to purchase my books:
Both books are for sale at Pharmasave, Gananoque, On, and at Novel Idea, Kingston, On. Riel Street is also for sale at the Kingston Pharmasave location.
Both books can also be ordered for purchase at most independent bookstores across the country.