Someone asked me the other day why I write. The question wasn’t posed as a challenge i.e. why aren’t you solving world hunger or working on climate change, but rather came from a place of curiousity. The same question could be asked: why do we read.
Writing has always been for me a way of sorting the conundrums that go on in my mind, sorting them into some sort of identity where I can label them and look at them, otherwise they just run through my head like noise. I think we read for the same reason. We are trying to find our way to truth and sometimes that is a long and arduous journey.
Books become our friends, something we tuck under our arm and into our bedside table and at any moment we can pull out the book and open it to a page and find ourselves written there. A good book does that for us. I hope Meadowlark will do that for you.
As some of you know my debut novel will be released September 15th published by NeWest Press of Edmonton, Alberta. In the process of writing and publishing, Meadowlark had early readers who generously and kindly set their own work aside to read my work. And then they commented on it. To say I am grateful for this seems trite and unworthy. But I am; so very grateful. Krista Foss, Fran Kimmel, Lisa Moore, Anne Simpson, and Marissa Stapley read Meadowlark and wrote the following generous words:
“Wendi Stewart’s Meadowlark is lyrical and vivid, startlingly fresh writing about childhood and loss, decaying dreams, bravery and the everyday brutality that is sometimes visited upon the damaged and the innocent alike. It is about the fast, inviolate friendships that see us through. Stewart creates characters that will last. Here is ultra-wise and propulsive writing about all the small dramatic moments that loom large and make us quake.”
– Lisa Moore author of February and Caught
“Wendi Stewart’s Meadowlark is at once a manifesto of grief and a testament to all that can be gained when there’s nothing left to lose. This novel drew me in gently and never let go—not even after I had read its final passages. Stewart writes with beautiful, painful honesty about the divide that can exist between parents and children, the resilience that must be cultivated once innocence is lost, and the redemption that can be found through friendship and love. Her observations about childhood are clever and graceful. It’s a rare book that makes me cry and laugh the way this one did.”
– Marissa Stapley, author of Mating for Life
“Meadowlark is an impressive debut novel that encapsulates the heartache and immediacy of young lives upended. In Stewart’s evocative depiction of Rebecca Archer, we meet a girl who is willing to be different, to be brave, to beat back against unspeakable tragedy without losing tenderness.”
– Fran Kimmel, author of The Shore Girl
“Meadowlark is a stirring debut about three young friends captive to the choices adults make and the secrets they keep. At the tender heart of this book is the refreshingly fierce Rebecca Archer pushing back against the isolation of grief and neglect, the betrayal of forgetting. In pitch-perfect prose, Wendi Stewart delivers a nuanced, visceral portrait of small towns and family farms, memory and identity, and most achingly, the liberating beauty of friendship. “
- Krista Foss, author of Smoke River
“In this evocative coming-of-age novel, Stewart’s characters find a way to challenge the confines of the world they inhabit. Powerfully rendering life in small town northwestern Ontario, Meadowlark grips a reader from first page to last.”
– Anne Simpson author of Falling and Canterbury Beach
I have read each of their books and I am better for having done so. We are all connected in this passion of writing and reading and we become friends, even though we often never meet.