Haliburton figures prominently in new novel 0
A Canadian novel recently released is showcasing Haliburton because of the physical beauty and the inexplicable intrinsic power it has over the people that visit and live here, says its author.
This aspect figures prominently in Mark Lavorato's second novel, Believing Cedric. It follows the main character Cedric Johnson, a middle-aged insurance broker, who is revealed in a series of flashbacks that physically take him back to the key moments of his life.
The Montreal-based author said he knows the area through running expeditions for Outward Bound Canada for five years, which had their main base camp and head office located just outside Burk's Falls. Through conversations with people who lived along Highway 118, he learned of the cultural importance of the area.
"This was the heart of cottage country; but more than that, it was located just outside the nation's biggest metropolis. This was an area that was seen by many as their only peaceful reprieve, as one of the few connections to nature for our largest population centre," he said in an email. "For both locals and weekend warriors, this was the 'getaway' that they'd somehow come to require. And no matter who I talked to, whether people had lived there all their lives, or were renting for their first weekend, everyone spoke of the area like it was sacred. Somehow, it had come to occupy a very special place, not only in our sentiments, but in the fabric of our identity."
Haliburton is used as not only as the backdrop in parts of the fantastical story, but focuses on Hwy. 118.
"So, when I decided to write my second novel, in an attempt to weave our very different stories and regions and peculiarities into one common theme, I knew that I wanted both the opening and conclusion of the novel to take place somewhere along Hwy. 118," he said.
Haliburton is referenced in the opening page, which is an excerpt from the second-last chapter, and the final chapter.
The novel takes readers on a journey through not only the perspective of the main character, but reveals him through the eyes of those that interact and connect with him.
It explores consciousness, regret, death and love, including what binds Canadians to this country.
Rural areas of Ontario in general are the most metropolitan places because they bring together people of all backgrounds, socioeconomic differences, and forces interaction, he said.
During his interviews of residents at Highland Wood long-term care facility, he learned that was not unusual to see a man who spent his entire life in the country socializing with a retiree that spent his/her entire life in an urban area.
The Canadian author acknowledges the help he received from the Haliburton County Echo and The Minden Times in being able to use the archives in research for the Brindle and Glass Publishing Ltd. book.
Believing Cedric is available at Master's Bookstore in Haliburton or can be purchased online through its publisher or at other online stores/outlets.