Arts + Culture » Literary

Ghost Islands of Nova Scotia

by Mike Parker (Pottersfield)

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The title of Mike Parker’s latest book may be slightly misleading. Yes, there is a smattering of the supernatural, but it really delves into a subject perhaps more intriguing: baffling island culture now extinct on many of the 30 or so Nova Scotia isles Parker explores. For instance, readers learn of Percy Morris who was lsle Haute’s light keeper for 28 years; Morris never took a sick day and apparently never succumbed to cabin fever either, despite sharing the island with only one assistant. Another tale tells of how the Tusket Island was named its own nation by an eccentric American and his fishing buddies. (Said “nation” was almost recruited into the UN.) Some NS islands were prisons, mass burial sites, quarantines, treasure troves, wedding venues or even the birthplace of the Bill Lynch fair. Unless you’re a history buff, you probably won’t read Ghosts in one sitting. However, Parker’s tone oozes with humble expertise combined with genuine care for the islanders who lived amidst beautiful lands and unpredictable seas.

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