Tofino book: Silent Inlet
Joanna Streetly introduces her new book in Tofino
Hanson Sound is a fictional area
the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The novel begins at winter solstice, the darkest time of the year. Amid storms wind and rain, the lives of four very different characters intersect.
Harry Farre is a feisty woman in her sixties who lives primitively on an island in the middle of Hanson Sound. Her daughter, Hannah is returning home after a failed relationship. Big Mack Stanley is a native man in his late thirties, beset by the troubles of his upbringing. His orphaned nephew, Lonny, is ten years old, desperate for love and security. These characters all struggle with issues of parenthood.
Each chapter of this book is told by a different character, showing how each one sees life, without "seeing" each others' lives. Although they are separated by their age, sex and cultural background, they are connected by the wild place in which they live. They recognize this thread in each other when the four of them are stormbound on Harry's island. Initially, this understanding carries them along on a wave of mutual acceptance; however, a violent accident brings discord which spirals their lives quickly into chaos. Only when they renew their elemental understanding of one another, can they start afresh.
Silent Inlet reaches for the raw physicality of people and place: people who are caught in the sea of turbulence, hardship and brilliance that characterizes the west coast. The story brings the elemental atmosphere of the east coast novel genre to a more complex, wild setting.
The challenge of this novel is to paint the west coast through different eyes; to lay out a spectrum of perspectives, caught in which the reader can grasp the diversity of human lives, as shaped by history and the forces of nature.
Joanna Streetly's books are available in Tofino at Wildside Booksellers.