The Waiting Place: A Novel by Sharron Arksey

A fiction pick by Jean-Louis

Turnstone Press, 2016
Turnstone Press, 2016

According to the end notes, the gestation period for this book was long but very well worth the wait. Sharron Arksey has written a captivating novel grounded in the physical and emotional landscape of Manitoba’s ranch country. She has captured the thrill and heartache of making your living on the land, linked to the beasts that are your livelihood and your life.

I am so pleased to read this first novel by one of our library’s former board members. Sharron is a great promoter for her community and she has written a fictional story that is a fine expression of the complexities and beauty that is ranch life ranch life in Manitoba. Not all the great stories in life happen within the city limits, rural Canada is also full of wonderful stories and Sharron has given us all a gift in this novel. Kudos also go out to Manitoba’s Turnstone Press for bringing forth this novel.

Susan and Glenn are married and live on the family farm. Around them are two sets of parents, several siblings, and a herd of cows. The multiple generations are all intertwined and bloodlines are a theme throughout the novel. One might say that this a particularly fecund novel as birthing is a constant theme. Throughout the the novel we check in, chapter by chapter, as Susan is delivering her first child. If you have grown up on a farm or ranch, you know that birth has its beauty and its grizzly patches. Our author spares us neither the angst, terror, nor the beauty. Come along for the ride and read this book–it is definitely worth it!

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