"A novel that might usher a girl into reading Alice Munroe or Margaret Laurence."
              -Toronto Star

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"Funny and tender but quite unsentimental, Seven for a Secret is insightful and very entertaining."
              -Chronicle Herald

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"The novel is extraordinary in its unpredictability."
              -Quill & Quire

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"Lordy, lordy -- to quote its own vernacular -- this is some book"!
              -Globe & Mail

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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.

Released by Groundwood Books 2001

Ruth Schwartz Award, 2002
Honour Book, Canadian Library Association, 2002
American Library Association's Notable List 2002/03
Named as a top young adult book by the CBC Children's panel 2002
Quill and Quire named it as one of its top five for 2002
Globe & Mail's top young adult book 2002
Children's Book Centre recommended list
Nominated for the White Pine Readers Choice Book Award Program 2002
The White Ravens selection, 2002 (International Library of Munich)

Is 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 character.

The cousins almost have an idyllic existence, can we ever get that back?

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 publicly today.

Does 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.

You 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.

You can buy Seven for a Secret from your local bookseller,
order it online from Amazon.ca or Chapters.Indigo.ca
or order it directly from Groundwood Books.