CORNER BROOK Nellie Strowbridge has a new novel out and fans of the Pasadena woman’s work will see that it’s a little different from her others.
Strowbridge laughed and said “Why is everybody asking me that?” when the subject was broached.
“Yeah it is different,” she said of the tone of the book, “Maiden From the Sea.”
“It will make a great book club read. It’s gonna be great for discussion because it’s gonna trigger a lot of debate.”
“Maiden From the Sea” tells the story of a servant girl, Genevieve, from 17th-century France who is tossed from the deck of a ship during a storm and becomes stranded in Newfoundland. Genevieve is rescued and later abandoned by Irish fishermen, meets and falls in love with a Beothuk warrior and gives birth to his child. It is after that that her world begins to fall apart.
Genevieve is among the strong women that have become central characters in Strowbridge’s work.
“Women who know how to survive and do whatever it takes,” said Strowbridge.
She said her stories come together through her experiences and for this book she visited Hibb’s Cove where her grandfather and his father lived. Hibb’s Cove forms the setting for the novel under the fictional name Ochre Cleft Cove.
“And I saw that everything was empty. The stages were gone and I wondered what it was like before anybody had settled here.”
She said she wanted to create an environment unlike today, where you had no electronic debris. Where somebody sitting there alone could feel nature and hear the sounds that Genevieve did after her rescuers abandoned her.
“She was left there alone, so I wanted to give the sense of what that was like.”
“Maiden From the Sea” was published by Flanker Press and is the ninth book to bear Strowbridge’s name and the eighth one she penned entirely on her own.
She is currently working on two new books, a sequel to “Catherine Snow” based on her daughter and “The Ghost of the Southern Cross.” The latter will come out in 2014, but she plans to keep her readers waiting a bit longer on the sequel.
She launched “Maiden From the Sea” in St. John’s at Chapters on Thursday night and will be at Costco on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. for a signing. Strowbridge will hold a west coast launch at DJY Financial in Deer Lake on May 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.
“A book is not like a boat,” said Strowbridge when asked of the multiple launches.
“You can launch books where ever you want.”
The events give her a chance to meet a lot of interesting people and then I get feedback on her work.
“Sometimes people have tears in their eyes, they’re so moved by my books,” said Strowbridge. “If you can do that, then you’re doing something worthwhile.”