Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Featured Fiction: Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice Macneil

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Featured Fiction: Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice Macneil

Key Porter Books, 2007
336 pages

In the white-shingled houses of Beinn Barra, young men shine their shoes and young girls curl their hair. It’s Saturday night, there’s a dance in the parish hall, and Benny Doucet is playing. They come from all over Cape Breton to hear “Strings” Doucet play the fiddle.

But it is 1939. England has declared war on Germany. Canada will march beside the mother country. Three friends enlist in the legendary Cape Breton Highlanders: fisherman Hector MacDonald, gifted musician Benny Doucet, and Calum MacPherson, who has been accepted at Dalhousie to study medicine. The three friends sail off to war in November 1941.

The families wait for word of their boys. Gunner MacDonald, a returned man himself, knows only too well what his fisherman son will witness in the trenches of Europe. Joachim and Ona MacPherson seek, and fail to find, solace in each other. Napoleon and Flora Doucet finger their rosary beads at the kitchen table and pray for Benny’s safety.

Where White Horses Gallop is a haunting tale of a war where emotional shrapnel riddles the spirit long after the guns a continent away have grown silent.

About the author:
Beatrice Macneil is the author of the bestselling novel Butterflies Dance in the Dark, winner of the Dartmouth Fiction Award, and the short story collection There is a Mouse in the House of Miss Crouse, which won the Marianna Dempster Canadian Author's Award for Nova Scotia. She has written ten plays, four of which have won awards and two of which have been adapted for Halifax CBC Radio. She is the recipient of the Tic Butler Award for her outstanding contribution to Cape Breton writing and culture, and is the founder of Cape Breton's Reading Ceilidhs. She lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.