This is a quirky, whimsical story of a motherless girl, determined to find love in her precarious life. With a lot of courage – and some very funny antics along the way – she succeeds.
The tortoise of the title is her friend at one end of the continent, Portland, Oregon, and a mouse called Wedge at her home at the other end, St. John’s, Newfoundland. She talks to them when neither her Dad, whom she adores, or her uncle Thoby, are available. With no mother, sisters or brothers to trip her up, the protagonist, Audrey Flowers (often called Oddly), is original and abrupt in her talking and dealings. But her search for affection never deserts her and she batters her way through to a fairly convincing sense of home.
Of the author, critics write, “her work twinkles with wordplay”. Jessica Grant lives in St. John’s and you get a vivid feeling of the closeness of that city to the U.K. with many plane trips back and forth in this book. She is a most original writer and has won prizes for her stories, in particular “Making Light of Tragedy.”
Synopsis, copied verbatim from the publisher’s site!
“Greta Ludwig, a 29-year-old Franco-Ontarian and MÃ©tis widow, is a successful bookstore owner in Ottawa. Due to the many stressors she encounters in her young life, she experiences a mental breakdown and requires psychiatric hospitalization. Once she is discharged, she is introduced to a psychiatrist who begins to play an important role in her life. To facilitate her recovery, she volunteers at the Shepherds of Good Hope, an organization serving the homeless in Ottawa. Once she regains her self-confidence, she becomes a frontline worker in their menâ€™s shelter but is physically assaulted by one of their residents. Will this incident trigger another manic phase of her underlying illness? Will she be able to return to work with the homeless? Will the support of family, friends, professionals and her unfailing faith in her Creator and Mother Earth be sufficient to give her the strength to cope with lifeâ€™s future challenges?”
You can follow Raymond’s adventures on his web site: raymondtremblay.blogspot.com
From a review on True North Perspectives;
“… Matt and the Wonder of Wishes by Nepean, Ontario author Bobby Hawley.
In this masterfully written book, Queen Zephania is the ruler of the fairy realm and can be found in the forest glade not far from a magnificent landscape of flowers. Should you become one of the chosen, you might even be given a wish. The fairies were attracted to this location by the display of colors and the heavenly scents coming from a beautiful garden right at the forest’s edge.
One night just before dusk a young lad by the name of Matthew spotted a box moving toward the forest glade, and on the side of the box was written an invitation to a wish. He followed the box and there he glimpsed the magical kingdom.
He felt sure he was one of the chosen, so the next day he returned with his young friends Jake, Katie, Danielle, Ana and Max. The Queen granted a wish to each child so that the special dream held in their hearts could be fulfilled.
Bobby Hawley is a retired teacher who loves working with children. She has published two children’s books on bullying since retiring and has frequented many schools, doing readings and discussing the importance of empathy. She has written and published a book of illustrated children’s poems as well as a couple of chapbooks.”