I am so thankful for all of you who went out and pre-ordered or purchased your copy of Always Brave, Sometimes Kind. It’s been a wonderful experience hearing those reading the book.
To top off such a great first few weeks of ABSK being out in the universe, we’ve even cracked Alberta’s Top 10 Independent Bestseller’s List for the week ending on October 4. Here’s the list:
- The Pull of the Stars – Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins)
- Anxious People – Fredrik Backman (Atria Books)
- The Midnight Library – Matt Haig (HarperCollins)
- Indians on Vacation – Thomas King (HarperCollins)
- The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel – Katherine Govier (HarperAvenue)
- All The Devils Are Here – Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
- Battle Ground – Jim Butcher (Ace)
- Dear Hearts – Barbara Biles (Inanna Publications and Education) *
- Frying Plantain – Zalika Reid-Benta (Astoria)
- Always Brave, Sometimes Kind – Katie Bickell (Touchwood Editions) *
* Both an Alberta Author & Publisher
Congratulations to fellow Alberta author Barbara Biles – I can’t wait to read Dear Hearts. Here’s to the next few months of cozy fall reading!
Set in the cities and rural reaches of Alberta, Katie Bickell’s debut novel is told in a series of stories that span the years from 1990 to 2016, through cycles of boom and bust in the oil fields, government budget cuts and workers rights policies, the rising opioid crisis, and the intersecting lives of people whose communities sometimes stretch farther than they know.
We meet a teenage runaway who goes into labour at West Edmonton Mall, a doctor managing hospital overflow in a time of healthcare cutbacks, a broke dad making extra pay through a phone sex line, a young musician who dreams of fame beyond the reserve, and a dedicated hockey mom grappling with sense of self when she’s no longer needed―or welcome―at the rink.
Always Brave, Sometimes Kind captures a network of friends, caregivers, in-laws, and near misses, with each character’s life coming into greater focus as we learn more about the people around them. Tracing alliances and betrayals from different perspectives over decades, Bickell writes an ode to home and community that is both warm and gritty, well-defined and utterly complicated.