Matrons and Madams

I was really intrigued when I heard about Matrons and Madams. First time writer Sharon Johnston is the wife of our wonderful Governor General David Johnston. This means, in addition to the many duties involved as the wife of the Governor General, dealing with 5 daughters and who-knows-how-many grand children, and running Rideau Hall, she found time to write a book! And it’s supposedly the first of three she intends to write. You think you’re busy. So you can see why I was intrigued. It turns out – she can write! Her story, based on her family history (talk about strong women!), recounts the struggles of veterans returning to Canada after the Great War. Clara Durling, a British widow with a daughter in tow, arrives in Lethbridge as the new superintendent of their hospital just as wounded souldiers are returning home. Lily Parsons, a widowed school teacher originally from Nova Scotia, ends up in the same city managing a brothel.  (Yes, from school teacher to brothel manager.) The lives of these 2 women intertwine and the story is wonderful. It involves drinkers, prostitutes, gamblers, union organizers, hospital big-wigs, amorous bachelors and wounded souldiers. Quite the picture. And the picture she paints is fascinating! I really hope book #2 comes along soon because I want more. Your Excellency – Bravo!

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