LEWISPORTE, N.L. – While author Trudi Johnson may call St. John’s home, there is a piece of her story in central Newfoundland as well.
“My sister, Audrey Oake, is a retired teacher and she’s on the library board in Lewisporte. Many of her friends have read ‘From a Good Home’ and wondered if I ever did book clubs,” Johnson said. “I visit book clubs all the time, so I was happy to make plans to come to Lewisporte.”
Johnson is looking forward to visiting the Lewisporte Public Library for a reading May 17. Librarian Bobbi Benson said they are pleased to host the author and the event.
“The patrons and myself are looking forward to Trudi’s visit,” Benson said. “It’s always great to have local authors come for readings.”
She said that events like Johnson’s reading provide a lot of benefits for the library and the community.
“In addition to listening to some wondeful writing, showcasing local talent inspires others to create,” Benson said. “And hosting readings promotes (and draws people into) the library.”
A welcome distraction
Johnson began writing her novel, From a Good Home, over 10 years ago, while working on her doctorate about women and law in N.L.
“When I was working on my PhD, I needed a distraction from academic writing,” Johnson said. “Fiction was that distraction.”
After finishing her dissertation, Johnson spent the next few years establishing herself in her academic career, but eventually returned to her novel. It was published in 2016 by Flanker Press.
The book tells the story of Hannah Parsons, who comes to work for a wealthy family in St. John’s in the 1930s. It was inspired in part by Johnson’s mother’s experiences when she “worked in service” as a young woman after leaving her home in Greenspond, Bonavista North.
Johnson’s novel, which was published in 2016, has been very well-received throughout Atlantic Canada. She thinks people enjoy her work in part because working in service is a concept most of us are familiar with, and because her novel is a light read with a happy ending.
“One of my motivations to write was when a friend said that she wanted an easy, comfortable read for a sunny afternoon in July,” Johnson said. “There are enough things going on in the world to upset us, my book is a bit of an escape.”
Johnson’s second novel, All Good Intentions (which starts the same day that her first novel ends), will be released on July 11, 2018. The book club in Lewisporte will be the first to hear an excerpt from that story. She is currently at work on her third novel.
Dr. Trudi Johnson will be reading from her novels From a Good Home and All Good Intentions at the Lewisporte Public Library at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th. For more information, please call the Lewisporte Public Library at 535-2519.