A great many kind and favourable comments have come my way since my Gower Street book launch back in October. An outstanding book review published in the Fall 2015 edition of the Newfoundland Quarterly is especially cherished. NQ editor Joan Sullivan commented “…Wadden’s brisk, evocative writing, apt and well-placed words and phrases, and his spirited nostalgic voice, make Gower Street an appealing and informative read.”
Individuals mentioned in the book prompted some interesting reader requests, including a call for further reminiscences about my summer playmate Tom Ryan for members of his family. I was glad to oblige.
Finding one’s name, or one’s family name, in print, is usually a bit of a treat, and of course it helps when the reference is a friendly or at least non-controversial one, as I think generally applies here. It helps that Flanker Press editors generously compiled an extensive index.
It was a thrill to hear the excitement one lady felt on making a surprise discovery in a chapter of the book describing our family’s summers spent in Kelligrews. Wenda Crummell put it this way:
“I have often heard that the unexpected can be the best or worst surprise you can receive…….I came across your book today and searching the chapters saw Kelligrews. Then I read the opening line “Aunt Emily” and got excited. I kept reading with disbelief but then I turned the page and my world lit up. Staring back at me was the picture of Emily and George Tilley……my Great Grandparents. Wow, I reread and reread again but so happy I found this book. I went directly to my Mom (Florence) and showed her this wonderful story and she was excited just like me. It was so nice to read about Emily and George. To see the picture was cream on the cake. I was wondering if you might have any more stories about Emily and George or pictures? Thank you so much for a Treasured Memory.”
Yet another surprise story emerged when two sisters, Lynn and Wanda Richards, asked if the Charlie Richards I mentioned among friends met at Jack English’s, a neighbourhood confectionery store, might have been their father. He was indeed, but I will save that interesting story for a new posting in the next week or so.
It has been encouraging, meanwhile, to see the fruits of continuing promotion of Gower Street by Flanker Press. Latest to catch my eye was the two-page (24-25) spread written in the Jan 31-Feb 6 edition of the Newfoundland Herald. Written by Wendy Rose and headlined “Sense of Coziness,” it features Gower Street and four other Flanker Press Books – A Beautiful Sight, Mr. Big, A Badly Misunderstood Dog, and The Story of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. Wendy writes “I love cuddling up on the couch, lighting a fire and sinking into some form of reality that is far removed from your own. Time to … consult this reading checklist and break out the reading glasses. Flanker Press has you covered this winter.”