A standing-room-only crowd filled the Courtenay Museum last month for the launch of San Josef, a historical novel by Harold Macy, a Merville writer.
“It exceeded everyone’s expectations. We sold all the copies we had in stock and ordered more,” said Evelyn Gillespie from Laughing Oyster Book Shop.
The launch was opened by another local author, Paula Wild.
”San Josef is a deep and sometimes dark novel where hope goes astray but is never lost. The characters are as complex as a spider’s web, the language poetic and the environment a tangible force,” she noted in her recent blog.
The program was a mixture of archival material on the struggling Danish utopian colony in the Cape Scott area in the late 1890s.
Lynn Duncan from Tidewater Press, the publisher, showed pictures of the rugged environment facing the colonists attracted by the capricious promises of the provincial government.
Macy read excerpts from the novel depicting the main characters and the struggles they faced.
“This novel is based on a report from the Times Colonist in 1909. An elderly Confederate refugee from the U.S. Civil War ended up at Coal Harbour working as a watchman. Identified by a passing lumber cruiser from America, he confessed his real identity. What followed has various foggy endings.”
“One says a team of Pinkerton agents from Seattle found him and murdered him in the isolated cabin. My novel takes this and puts him in the Colony and a greatly different fate,” he explained.
The entire article is in the book’s end-pages.
Copies will be available next week at the bookstore in Courtenay.