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Virtual Book Launch: The Company We Keep with Frances Itani

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Join us for this virtual book launch of The Company We Keep by Frances Itani, presented in partnership with the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival and Library and Archives Canada. Hosted by Hélène Giroux, Director of the Wakefield La Pêche Writers Festival des écrivains.

 

You can attend via Zoom (please register to receive the link) or by Facebook Live.

 

On Tuesday nights in the backroom of Cassie’s café, six strangers seek solace and find themselves part of a “Company of Good Cheer.” Hazzley is at loose ends, even three years after the death of her husband. When her longtime friend Cassandra suggests that she start up a conversation group, Hazzley posts a notice on the community board at the local grocery store. Four people turn up for the first meeting: Gwen, a recently widowed retiree in her early sixties, who finds herself pet-sitting a cantankerous parrot; Chiyo, a forty-year-old fitness instructor who cared for her unyielding but gossip-loving mother through the final days of her life; Addie, a woman pre-emptively grieving a close friend who is seriously ill; and Tom, an antiques dealer and amateur poet who, deprived of home baking since becoming a widower, comes to the first meeting hoping cake will be served. Before long, they are joined by Allam, a Syrian refugee with his own story to tell.

 

These six strangers are learning that beginnings can be possible at any stage of life. But as they tell their stories, they must navigate what is shared and what is withheld. Which version of the truth will be revealed? Who is prepared to step up when help is needed? This moving, funny and deeply empathic new novel from acclaimed author Frances Itani reminds us that life, with all its twists and turns, never loses its capacity to surprise.

 

We encourage our audiences to read widely, and shop (or borrow) locally. Click here to see the author's books in the library catalogue. A limited number of signed books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.