Island author examines loss, friends

MINDEMOYA—A Mindemoya resident has done what a lot of people only dream about. Marie Celeste Cranston has written her first book, and what a book. Titled ‘Life Loss and Friends,’ this page-turner shows how friendship can help people cope with even the most devastating events.

Set in the town of Sugardale, the story revolves around the friendship between Fred and his grandmother as well as his buddy John and his half-brother Chris. The author shows just how important friendship is when character Fred says, “I’m glad I have somebody to talk with. It is worth living now,” when he meets the role of Chris for the first time.

Ms. Cranston is adept at detail in her writing, whether it is about shopping in Toronto, eating Chinese food or dealing with the subway, hospitals and group homes. She shows her sense of humour and one cannot help but laugh when Fred’s dad says, “Everything is expensive. Gas goes up on a long weekend. Both the provincial and federal governments want us to pay more taxes. We elect them, but they don’t listen to us.”

Author and educator Marion Seabrook has reviewed Ms. Cranston’s book and she is spot on when she says, “The author has developed very believable characters. I believe her characters will live in your mind after you have closed the pages. It is a book worthy to sit on your bookshelf.”

It took Ms. Cranston two years to write her book and she is grateful for the help of her sister Ann Marie, who lives in Denmark, and assisted with suggestions and editing via email and Skype. She is also very appreciative of the help she received from Supervised Access Coordinator and volunteer Sharon Stephens. “Every time I came up with an idea, I would email it to Sharon,” Ms. Cranston said. “First we made an outline, then we decided what we would name the chapters and we would move them along until we got it right. And sometimes I was kind of like Mrs. Doubtfire because I had to lean on my sister for advice.”

Ms. Stephens called Ms. Cranston “a wonderful woman with an excellent imagination and a great sense of humour,” noting that the author became involved with the Community Living Manitoulin day program in 2007 and moved into her own apartment in 2010 where she is supported by Community Living.

Ms. Cranston chose a beautiful picture for the cover of her book and obtained permission from esteemed nature photographer Ian Plant of Woodbridge, Virginia to use the photograph. “The rising sun in the picture is like a new day for Fred,” Ms. Cranston said as she went on to explain that the rainbow symbolizes Fred’s wishes for a better life and the rainbow gives us hope. “I found the picture on the Internet,” Ms. Cranston explained. “On Google. I looked for a picture of a rainbow and of the sun.”

As well as a writer, Ms. Cranston is also a traveller and has been to every province except Newfoundland and has seen Italy, Germany and Denmark. She is an avid reader and likes books by Barbara Taylor Bradford, V.C. Andrews and Mary Higgins Clark. At the present time, she is reading Anne of Green Gables on her KOBO. And Ms. Cranston is not finished with writing. She is already working on a second book based on the same characters. When not working on her writing, Ms. Cranston works at the Everything Under the Sun consignment store and loves to socialize and spend time with friends.

Community Living Board Member Carol Nesbitt also reviewed this book and wrote, “This first novel written by Marie Celeste Cranston is wonderful.” Indeed. A wonderful book by a wonderful woman.

To order a copy of ‘Life Loss and Friends,’ call Bill and Ann Cranston at 705-377-4610 or Sharon Stephens at 705-377-6619.

Betty Bardswich