"A novel that might usher a girl into reading Alice
Munroe or Margaret Laurence."
"Funny and tender but quite unsentimental,
Seven for a Secret is insightful and very entertaining."
"The novel is extraordinary
in its unpredictability."
"Lordy, lordy -- to
quote its own vernacular -- this is some book"!
Fifteen-year-old Melinda is looking forward
to spending another summer with her cousins Rebecca and Kate
in the small outport village of Cook's Cove on Newfoundland's
west coast. Rebecca is a goody-goody who is under the thumb
of her stern mother. Kate, the city dweller, is determined not
to let a boyfriend block her future. Melinda, for her part,
has a tendency to act out. The cousins are like sisters, watching
out for one another. When a stranger comes to the village and
invites Rebecca to Boston to develop her artistic talent, the
girls are suddenly exposed to the possibilities of the outside
world. Melinda finds herself not only responsible for keeping
family secrets but also faced with deciding just how far family
loyalty should go.
Groundwood Books 2001
there a real Melinda?
No. But she's very real to me. She got
inside my brain and wouldn't leave until I put her on the
page. There are echoes of a couple of people I know in her
cousins almost have an idyllic existence, can we ever get that
They had a lot of fun and girls today
have a lot of fun too. They probably had a little more freedom
but you have to remember they were confined by their geography.
And there are certainly dark secrets that are dealt with more
Cook's Cove exist?
No. Where I grew up there was a Cook's
Brook and in Corner Brook, there's Captain Cook's Lookout.
Again I used the name because I love history and Captain James
Cook charted the Bay of Islands before becoming famous for
the exploration he did in Australia and the Cook Islands.
I spent many summers in a place similar to Cook's Cove in
the book; a place called Lark Harbour, just out the Bay of
Islands from Corner Brook.
mention Jane Austen, did you choose her for a reason?
That's my salute to Jane Austen. I love
the humor in her books. I didn't use any parallels to her
work but her hand was on my shoulder as I tried to paint a
picture of this tiny community with a few good families.