Cecily Ross has experienced living in the country — perhaps not quite to the extent Susanna Moodie did, but she knows a hawk from a handsaw.
An award-winning writer for Maclean’s and Harrowsmith, editor, and journalist who has served as a senior writer for the Globe and Mail, Cecily has written evocatively about her rural home, “the pair of red-tailed hawks that share their territory with us, the scarlet tanagers in the woodlot, the return of the rose-breasted grosbeaks and the bluebirds in May… the wild leeks and the morels in spring, the rhubarb patch, the wild apples and the deer that come to the pond to drink, the towering spruces and birches and willows.”
This deep connection to rural Canada is clear in Cecily’s debut novel, The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie, which explores the challenges faced by the pioneering woman as she worked to make a life for herself and her family in the wilderness of 1830s Upper Canada. Her story of hardship and survival is part of Canada’s national mythology. Told through fictionalized diary entries, author Beth Powning calls the novel “fascinating, complex, and heartbreaking, Susanna’s voice convinces us that we have time-travelled, yet speaks to our contemporary hearts.”