Restless for More:
By Heidi McLaughlin
Deep River Books,
2016. 240 pages.
WITH THIS book British Columbia
author and speaker Heidi McLaughlin reaches out to women
wondering why they feel so disconnected, exhausted and stressed as
they try to keep up with the demands society places on them.
Using life experience and other
authors’ writings, McLaughlin
brings women into her world,
nestled in the vineyards of West
Kelowna, and gets honest about
how women today can measure
their worth with social media,
wealth and possessions.
Like the serpent in the Garden of
Eden, she says, social media sells
the lie we should have more, and
God is holding out on us.
She invites women to engage the
world by connecting with others,
being encouraging, kind, blessing
one another and peacemaking.
She gets the reader to focus on
personal relationships and how we
are here to walk beside each other
in our struggles, and be Jesus to
Her look at blessings is a highlight. She examines how blessing
children or grandchildren can be a
beautiful way for parents to unleash
God’s power in their children’s lives
and fulfil their own hearts as well.
Each chapter ends with a reflection and prayer. A free study guide
is also available at www.HeartCon-nection.ca.
For women wondering why they
feel so disconnected and dissatisfied
in their lives, McLaughlin’s book
will be a refreshing call to slow down
and enjoy the human connection we
were made for. –CHANDRA PHILIP
The Best Kind of People
By Zoe Whittall
House of Anansi, 2016.
404 pages. $22.95
This novel was published
to acclaim in 2016, quickly
shortlisted for the Giller prize and is now a
bestseller in Canada. It follows the Woodbury
family, who are white, wealthy and well
respected, after their world is blown open
George, father of two, physics teacher and
local hero, is arrested after accusations of rape
are filed by some of his 14-year-old students.
Left to cope while George awaits trial in prison
without bail, the Woodburys are egged and
shunned and blamed. Joan, his wife, veers
between suspicious anger and loyalty for her
husband. Sadie, his daughter, a gifted student
and high school politician, flounders into new
relationships and drug use.
Whittall inquires deeply into questions of
consent and exploitation. Sadie calls this a “black
and white” issue – of course it’s never okay to
interfere with children – but Whittall offers
other examples that complicate the question
and where the lines are drawn. George’s older
son Andrew is gay and had his first sexual
relationship with a coach when he was 17 and
the coach was in his 20s. Another trusted
adult leaves his porn collection around – titled
“Barely Legal,” it includes models meant to look
like teenagers – and then uses the Woodbury
scandal in a novel without the consent of the
people involved. Teenagers get black-out drunk
and school secretaries fight for men’s rights.
The Best Kind of People is a complex portrait
of the sexual mores and contradictions of our
time. It is also gripping – I hardly put it down
for the last 200 pages – and beautifully written.
The small town of Avalon Hills is depicted
compassionately, but without compromise.
Who can we trust? “For all we know,” Joan says,
“we might be the worst people on earth.”
“Working on transparent
materials allows for early
layers to show through slightly,
to be covered up or become a
focus. In this way the painting
process mirrors life. We hide
many things and let those
things we think are beautiful
or good show through.
Starting with intuitive marks
and collage, layers are built up
and my goal is to allow
mistakes and problems to
show through. They become
part of the final work.”
Three in One ( 36” x 36”, mixed
media on washi paper)
Reading THE BES TSELLERS