HDCH Book Club – Baygirl
Hamilton District Christian High Book Club features Baygirl by Heather Smith
Why Ingrid loves it
“I love turning the last page of a novel and coming away with that sense that I have learned something about another culture, the consequences of decisions, and perhaps something about the human spirit. On this level, Heather Smith’s debut novel, Baygirl, does not disappoint.
Book Club is a great venue to explore different cultures (sometimes those not so far from home!) and to unravel various facets of humanity. Even though we all call ourselves Canadians, Baygirl provides us with an insight into just how different life can be throughout this diverse country of ours. Written against the backdrop of a Newfoundland economy suffering from a 1992 moratorium on cod fishing, Smith provides us a glimpse of how this political decision had such a profound effect on the spirit and the livelihood of Newfoundlanders. This novel explores the issue of alcoholism in families, the pain of being different from one’s peers, the joy that an older generation can bring to one’s life and the blessing of friendship. This novel was well received in Book Club and we look forward to future novels by Heather Smith.”
Growing up in a picturesque Newfoundland fishing village should be idyllic for sixteen-year-old Kit Ryan, but living with an alcoholic father makes Kit’s day-to-day life unpredictable and almost intolerable. When the 1992 cod moratorium forces her father out of a job, the tension between Kit and her father grows. Forced to leave their rural community, the family moves to the city, where they live with Uncle Iggy, a widower with problems of his own. Immediately pegged as a “baygirl,” Kit struggles to fit in, but longstanding trust issues threaten to hold her back when a boy named Elliot expresses an interest in her.