Our take: Fictional Darkest Valley needs to be talked about
The mere fact local author Rick Dewhurst’s latest book The Darkest Valley talks about the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial and features its fictional editor as one of its main characters, was guaranteed to attract our attention on its own.
But when you realize he’s delving into some of Cowichan’s most sensitive subjects, including racism, we realized this was not just a local book release, but a bold and brave move from an author who’d previously published pulp mystery novels.
During the interview for the piece on the book, Dewhurst made it crystal clear he was ready to take blame for any controversy, but also had no regrets for bringing the issues to the forefront.
Dewhurst isn’t unjust for thinking racism is still an issue residing in the Warm Land. There are still cold, bitter thoughts and attitudes from both sides of the fence.
Despite what some thought were huge strides when Cowichan hosted the North American Indigenous Games in 2008, and more recently with several white folks joining with First Nations in Idle no More protests, gaps still exist.
There haven’t been any real (“authentic” as Dewhurst likes to put it) community discussions.
His exploration of the church’s local failures, of Native fears of being forced to take part in longhouse spiritual rituals, the uneasy truce between races and the easy hypocrisy that colours our community might make Dewhurst’s book a tough read for some.
But Darkest Valley is something every Cowichanian should read, if only for the simple sake of opening the mind and mouth on tough subjects.
Read, share and talk.
It’s as easy as one, two, three.