Denman Island author Bill Engleson will read excerpts from his first novel Like a Child to Home on April 10 at the Courtenay branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
The debut novel by Engleson, who was born in Powell River and raised in Nanaimo, is a gritty and thoughtful tale about social worker Wally Rose and the hectic, byzantine and heartbreaking child welfare system he works in.
The book is set, for the most part, in the dark winter month of November 2001. Rose is nearing the end of his professional life. He spends most of his days stickhandling services to an array of young people in the care of the Province.
As he helps a fellow worker trace a missing 14-year-old girl, an old case from his earlier days comes back and threatens to end his career on an irredeemably bitter note.
In considering why he wrote this particular novel, Bill noted the following in one of his regular columns in Denman Island’s monthly journal, The Flagstone:
“Every once in a while, I want to go back to work. I was a social worker. As stupidly mindless as the bureaucracy was that I found myself in, good and meaningful labour was possible.
“Initially I think I wrote Like a Child to Home to purge my lingering work demons. I now think it was to resurrect them, to savour them once again.”
All are welcome to attend this event Thursday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at 300 Sixth St.
For more information, check out Bill’s website/blog at www.engleson.ca.
— Courtenay Library