"Issy, Louise, even her mother, are all characters to enrich one's life."
              -CM Magazine

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"This satisfying read is highly recommended for young readers of all ages."
          -What If? Reviews

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"Readers will want to encourage her to be a swan..."
      -Winnipeg Free Press

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Saddled with a mean, bedridden mother; an older, increasingly bitter sister; and a lovely but mainly absent father, Issy is desperate to leave her miserable life in Newfoundland and dreams of heading to the mainland, maybe even to a big city like Toronto. She has no friends her own age, she's failing in school, and the dearest person to her in the world, her great aunt Lady has just died. With the small legacy Lady has left her, Issy is more determined than ever to escape when she turns sixteen, hopefully beating her older sister, Louise, out the door. But there's one thing that is holding Issy back; she is illiterate. She can't read at all, and never could. How far can she really go? Then she and her sister nearly drown, but a kind and gentle boy from her past comes to the rescue and stays to help Issy to find herself.

Released by Penguin April 2008

Why did you make Issy so sad and unloved?

I believe girls have a lot to contend with as they grow up. And while many of us would like lives lived out the way they are in the movies, that's just not the way it is for a vast majority of us. I also wanted to try to get inside the head of a girl who has a learning challenge.

Did you make up the bit about skating across the bay?

I actually made this trip a few times when I was teaching school at 18 on the south coast of Newfoundland. They guys really did pull out an aluminum boat from the shoreline when the steamer had come in and cut a swath of open water in our path. What's not in the book is that another weekend when we left the boat to walk the few hundred meters home, we heard a terrible crack and the local guys made us all step back carefully one at a time. The ice had broken open and we were very lucky they knew what to do.

How is this book connected to Seven for a Secret?

When I started to write, I had no intention of connecting the books. But I couldn't stop Kate Derby from showing up on the scene and once she was there I thought I would catch up on the rest of the Derby family in the next book, Three for a Wedding.

Why do you have two different publishers and two different looks for your book covers?

It is quite common to have different publishers as different publishers are interested in different topics and genres at different times. I've enjoyed working with both Groundwood and Penguin. The art department at the publishers decides on the cover art.

Isn't Issy's mother a little over the top?

Maybe, but she is loosely based on my own demanding mother who was a British warbride, and who came to Newfoundland with my father after World War II. By the way, my father was also hard of hearing because of an accident during the war, and it was only when writing this book that I came to realize how easy it must have been for other girls to talk to their fathers.

You can buy or order One for Sorrow from your local bookseller,
order it online from Amazon.ca or Chapters.Indigo.ca
or order it directly from Penguin Books.