Unearthing Family Secrets

27may2:00 pm3:00 pmUnearthing Family SecretsWith Amanda Peters, Amy Jones, Elyse Friedman, and Linda Morra

Speakers for this event

  • Amanda Peters

    Amanda Peters


    Amanda Peters is a woman of Mi’kmaq and European ancestry, from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. She won a 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for her short story Waiting for the Long Night Moon. Her work has been published in The Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Dalhousie Review and fillingstation magazine. Her debut novel, The Berry Pickers, was released in April 2023.

    URL https://amandapetersauthor.com/


  • Amy Jones

    Amy Jones


    Amy Jones is the author of the novels We’re All in This Together and Every Little Piece of Me, and the short fiction collection What Boys Like. Her third novel, Pebble and Dove, will be published on May 30, 2023. Originally from Halifax, she currently lives in Hamilton.

    URL https://amyjonesauthor.com/


  • Elyse Friedman

    Elyse Friedman


    Elyse Friedman is a critically acclaimed author of six books. Her work has been short-listed for the Trillium Book Award, The Toronto Book Award, the Relit Award and the Tom Hendry Award. Her short story The Soother, won the gold National Magazine Award for fiction, and she has twice won the TIFF-CBC Films Screenwriter Award. Her most recent novel, The Opportunist, is her first thriller. Elyse lives in Toronto.


  • Linda Morra

    Linda Morra


    Linda Morra is Professor of Canadian and Indigenous Literatures at Bishop’s University and the host, writer, and co-producer of the award-winning podcast, Getting Lit With Linda (in the category “Outstanding Education Series” for the Canadian Podcast Awards last year). Her volume, Moving Archives, won the Gabrielle Roy Award in 2020.

    URL http://lindamorra.com/


Event Details

Sometimes the most unsettling revelations of all are hidden away in our own family lineages. These authors explore and untangle the complex ties of family to find what lies at the center.

The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters
Harper Perennial

July 1962. A Mi’kmaq family from Nova Scotia arrives in Maine to pick blueberries for the summer. Weeks later, four-year-old Ruthie, the family’s youngest child, is seen sitting on her favourite rock at the edge of a field before mysteriously vanishing. Her six-year-old brother, Joe, who was the last person to see Ruthie, is devastated by his sister’s disappearance, and her loss ripples through his life for years to come.

In Maine, a young girl named Norma grows up as an only child in an affluent family. Her father is emotionally distant, while her mother is overprotective of Norma, who is often troubled by recurring dreams and visions that seem to be too real to be her imagination. As she grows older, Norma senses there is something her parents aren’t telling her. Unwilling to abandon her intuition, she pursues her family’s secret for decades.

Pebble & Dove by Amy Jones
McClelland & Stewart

Lauren’s life is a mess. She has a storage unit full of candles she can’t sell, a growing mountain of debt, and a teenage daughter, Dove, who barely speaks to her. Then her husband sends her a text that changes everything. Eager to escape her problems, she drives herself and Dove south to her late mother’s rundown trailer in Florida. While keeping her eccentric new neighbours at Swaying Palms at bay, Lauren begins to untangle the truth about her estranged mother. How did world-famous portrait photographer Imogen Starr end up at Swaying Palms? And what happened to her fortune and her photographs?

The Opportunist by Elyse Friedman
Patrick Crean Editions (HarperCollins)

When Alana Shropshire’s seventy-six-year-old father, Ed, starts dating Kelly, a saucy twenty-eight-year-old, a flurry of messages arrive from Alana’s brothers, urging her to help “protect Dad” from the young interloper. Alana knows that what Teddy and Martin really want to protect is their father’s fortune, and she tells them she couldn’t care less about the May–December romance. Long estranged from her privileged family, Alana has no stake in the game, and as a hardworking single mom, she has more important things to worry about. But when Ed and Kelly’s wedding is announced, Teddy and Martin kick into hyperdrive, and eventually persuade Alana to fly to their father’s 900-acre West Coast island retreat to perform one small task in their plan to lure the “gold digger” away from their father. Kelly, however, proves a lot wilier than expected, and Alana becomes entangled in an increasingly dangerous scheme full of secrets and surprises. Will she be able to escape her brothers’ elaborate web of deceit? Just how far will her siblings go to retain control?


Accessibility Sponsor: Penguin Random House Canada