By Laura Keil
The Caribou Grill was packed Saturday night for Maureen Brownlee’s book launch of Loggers Daughters. Brownlee held subsequent launches in Dunster and McBride.
Brownlee’s first novel is now for sale in local stores and online at major book sellers.
The story follows a family who lives in the Rocky Mountain Trench “somewhere not far from here” Brownlee says.
One of the central themes in the 220-some page book is the complexity of family relationships – how we navigate these, despite our imperfect knowledge of other people.
The daughter of the main character has gone off to University in Vancouver in the 1980s. It’s women’s liberation and there’s marching in the streets. The daughter brings home knowledge that is useful to the mom, and she takes forward knowledge that’s useful to herself, Brownlee says.
“It’s partly about a mother-daughter relationship. Also about the relationship between people and the land. Between brothers and sisters. Fathers and daughters. We all have a lot of relationships in our lives. We’re all more than one thing.”
It’s a place and a time and a people that’s underrepresented in Canadian literature, Brownlee says. The novel structure is traditional, however, written in third person with a single main character.
She says her hope is that the story will carry people from beginning to end.
The first-time novelist grew up in Dunster and went to school in McBride. After that she spent time in Arrow Lakes, Prince George and then Valemount, where she lives now. Brownlee worked in journalism for a decade before turning to fiction about 10 years ago. She says being a writer is what she always wanted to do.
She says she is already working on her next book.