Well, it’s finally here! Always Brave, Sometimes Kind is now out in stores.
To celebrate, on Tuesday, September 29 (ABSK’s official book birthday), I headed down to a few local book stores to sign some copies.
First up, a visit to Glass Bookshop:
Followed by a trip to Audreys Books:
Thank you to all those who have messaged me, tagged me on social media, or purchased a copy of ABSK this week. You made this first book birthday a really special one!
Still looking for a copy of Always Brave, Sometimes Kind?
Make sure you call or message your favourite indie bookstore ahead of picking up, folks (not all places are open to browsing yet, and some hours have changed).
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.