Sunday, June 12, 2016

Her Father's Sins: a new novel

I'm pleased to announce the Fine Form Press release of my latest romance novel: Her Father's Sins.

Her Father's Sins by JT Therrien
This romance novel took nine years to write, from the first words to release. It spent six of those years dormant in my computer, waiting for me to return to it and finish it. I lost count of the number of times I changed the point-of-view over the years.

Thanks to my wife's input at the early stages of the novel, I believe that this story is one of my better efforts.

Lillian LaChance (nee Armstrong), Gabriel Peterson and Raymond Eckert are three of my most interesting characters. The setting is Toronto Canada, Geneva Switzerland and Muhajeria Sudan and the story spans three generations of the Armstrong family.

Her Father's Sins is a tale of contrasts: there is poverty (homelessness) vs affluence; small business vs Big Pharma; North American technological amenities vs Sudanese simplicity; the warmth of family life vs the cold isolation of family loss; the gift of mental health vs the trappings of mental illness; and many other contrasts.

Her Father's Sins Blurb

While recovering from a family tragedy, Lillian inherits her father's multinational pharmaceutical corporation, along with the responsibility for his successful, but unscrupulous, business practices. Needing to right past wrongs, Lillian ignores family loyalties as she schemes to gain the trust and friendship of Gabriel Peterson, a man who lost everything after his battle with William Armstrong.

I hope readers will enjoy my latest contemporary romance novel.

Her Father's Sins can be obtained from all e-book retailers, including: Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, itunes or your favorite e-book retailer. My middle grade children's fiction is also available in print on and at Amazon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for reading my fiction.

~ JT Therrien~

Monday, June 06, 2016

Review: Indian Horse

Indian Horse Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I guess Richard Wagamese likes stereotypes. In Indian Horse he has the drunken Native American, the cleric sexual predators for which the Catholic Church is (apparently) best known, the sadistic nuns who enable the priests' sexual abuse and, last but not least, the White Man who, like a territorial dog that knows no limits, thinks that everything he sees, thinks or does belongs to him and not to Others - especially when it comes to protecting the sacred game of hockey.

Forget looking for deep insights into the human condition in Iron Horse. Forget anything beyond blaming your parents (or some authoritative element of society that stands in for your parents) for screwing up your life and being the cause of your problems. If you're unsuccessful, it's someone else's fault - literally, the Universe's in this case - since you have to accept a pagan ideology to understand this story.

The story itself is well-written and it is a joy to read a solid tale about hockey. Wagamese captures the game of hockey as I remember playing it in Pee Wee and Bantam. The language is not flowery, nor is it stripped down minimalism. The imagery is well-grounded in the senses and Wagamese brings the game to life. But his reliance on stereotypes shows how insecure he is in his story-telling skills. Instead of giving the reader a truly unique and memorable character, we're left thinking of this as the drunken Indian hockey player novel.

Of course, the scenes and disclosures of sexual abuse are difficult to read. As a practicing Catholic I cannot condone any abuse - clergy or otherwise. Sexual predators need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law - regardless whether they wear a religious collar or not.

Before buying into Wagamese's depiction of (mostly northern) residential schools where decades of the sexual abuse took place (a fact I do not dispute), I would have liked some historical information. I would have appreciated at least a mention of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015) and their findings and recommendations; the fact that among a list of many organizations, the Catholic Church apologized for the abuses caused by their clergy or the people in their employment. How the residential schools came to be, etc., but we have none of that deeper analysis. That would presumably take away from the stereotypical Good Guy vs Bad Guy story line.

Sadly, we're left with the uneasy feeling that Wagamese used the whole troubling, traumatic setting of the residential schools in Iron Horse only for dramatic effect. Does it work? You bet! Does it make for good literature? Nope.

It's a story that is chock-full of stereotypes (hence it has a readily-accessible, universal appeal) and it would be a good made-for-tv movie with all of the dramatic elements that include Ojibwa mysticism, drinking, fighting, scandalous sexual abuse, the Catholic Church and, yes, even Canada's true religion: hockey.

Regardless of what Canada Reads says, should you read this novel? It can't hurt you, but it certainly won't inspire you beyond the covers.

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