August brings with it the long awaited publication of The Haweaters following a four month delay due to COVID-19.
Seriously, if you'd asked me at the beginning of the year what would likely have made the Top Ten (or even Top Hundred) list of things that could go wrong to cause the publication date to be pushed back, I can guarantee you that my list would not have included a global pandemic. In January, it was unclear that the novel coronavirus would extend its reach beyond China. There were concerns, of course, particularly for those of us who lived through the SARS epidemic that struck Toronto in 2003. Without a doubt, we collectively felt that distinctive brand of anxiety that takes root in people who have lived through the unthinkable. But the SARS epidemic, frightening though it was, was also relatively short lived. And it didn't strike globally, but was contained to a handful of hotspots. It's just unlucky that Toronto had been one of them.
COVID-19, unfortunately, has engulfed the world and turned us all into hermits whether or not that was our natural inclination. So what better way to spend your enforced isolation than by reading a book about a 19th century murder on Northern Ontario's Manitoulin Island? It's got all of the good stuff in it that will keep you distracted for a few fun filled days: Lies, gossip, innuendo, violence, thievery, scandal and so much more. And it's all true (or at least accurate).
It certainly makes the case for why some people really should be socially distanced on a somewhat permanent basis.