“Mesmerized by the dazzling colours that the sun was sending in through the stained glass windows, I could easily believe in heaven. The houses would be freshly painted and no clapboards would be laid bare by the salty whitecaps that blew in over a narrow, leaky beach. The dwellers would be dressed in gauzy, colourful clothing. There wouldn’t be a grey mitt or a black sock in sight.”
Meet the unique people of Caplin Scull, a small village on Newfoundland’s sea-ravaged east coast, where
life is hard and the times are changing as the province of Newfoundland is about to join the nation of Canada. Like the houses, those who live here must be sturdy, courageous and determined, able to withstand a rugged life in a world that still keenly feels the pull of its Irish ancestors and the influence of the powerful Catholic Church.
In that place of hardship there is also love, endurance, spirituality, and humour. The folks here have figured out how to cope through the wry acceptance of their lot in life: work hard, die hard, and go to hell afterward. Dohaney’s tales are sometimes poignant, often funny, frequently turning on an ironic or unexpected twist. In each, she exhibits her skillful storytelling, her perception of human nature, and her compassion for the people of this rocky island in the North Atlantic.
The collection is part oral history, part narrative, part documentary, part anecdote, all seasoned by time, memory, and reflection, and knitted together with love and a teaspoon or two of invention.