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A Sudden Sun

by Trudy J. Morgan-Cole

Choice and circumstance have great power to alter the direction of a life; so too does history. The late-19th and early 20th centuries were a period of tumult and social change: women’s suffrage was sweeping across the globe, and, later, the First World War took the lives of many young men and left countless others damaged, both physically and emotionally. This is the backdrop against which Trudy J. Morgan-Cole sets her latest novel.

A Sudden Sun (Trudy Morgan-Cole)As a young woman in 1893, Lily Hunt is swept up in both the suffrage movement in St. John’s and a secret love affair with David, a young journalist.

Lily’s anguish over David’s departure for New York is quickly overshadowed by the realization she is pregnant. As the weeks pass, Lily’s anxiety worsens, until she finally admits her predicament to the young Reverend Obadiah, the suitor her parents wish her to marry. Though the reverend claims the unborn child as his own, a traumatizing miscarriage results in Lily turning her back on the suffrage movement in favour of the traditional views she grew up with.

Nearly three decades later, Lily’s daughter, Grace, boldly blazes her own path, disregarding her mother’s attempts to keep her close to home. Grace’s education and social work take her to Montreal and then New York, where she meets some of her mother’s old friends and learns that Lily’s past is full of rebellion, heartache, and loss.

Grace pieces together the details of her mother’s life, in the process discovering a far more complex woman than she imagined. Still, it’s not until her father faces a grave illness that mother and daughter come together. Gradually, they begin to mend their relationship and to move forward.

Alternating between Lily’s story and Grace’s, Morgan-Cole slowly reveals the love, loss, uncertainty, boldness, friendships, despair, and faith that informs and shapes each of their lives. Even as the narrative slowly builds to a sad, emotional conclusion, the spark that fires the soul of both women remains – and it’s that spark that keeps the reader invested in the characters


Reviewer: Cara Smusiak

Publisher: Breakwater Books


Price: $19.95

Page Count: 384 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 978-1-55081-559-7

Released: Sept.

Issue Date: November 2014

Categories: Fiction: Novels