Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed author of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams introduces us to the Johnstons of Newfoundland in an intimate, captivating memoir of three generations of fathers and sons.
The New York Times called Wayne Johnston's The Colony of Unrequited Dreams an eventful, character-rich book...a brilliant and bravura literary performance. His marvelous new memoir, Baltimore's Mansion, is equally impressive, filled with heart-stopping descriptions, a cast of stubborn, acerbic, yet entirely irresistible family members, and an evocation of time and place reminiscent of his best fiction.
Charlie Johnston is the famed blacksmith of Ferryland, a Catholic colony founded by Lord Baltimore in the 1620s on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. For his prowess at the forge, he is considered as necessary as a parish priest at local weddings. But he must spend the first cold hours of every workday fishing at sea with his sons, one of whom, the author's father, Arthur, vows that as an adult he will never look to the sea for his livelihood.
In the heady months leading to the referendum that results in Newfoundland being inducted into Canada, Art leaves the island for college and an eventual career with Canadian Fisheries, studying and regulating a livelihood he and his father once pursued. He parts on mysterious terms with Charlie, who dies while he's away, and Art is plunged into a lifelong battle with the personal demons that haunted the end of their relationship. Years later, Wayne prepares to leave at the same age Art was when he said good-bye to Charlie, and old patterns threaten to repeat themselves.
At times a harrowing tale of trails in the darkness, of grand desolation anddangerous coasts, Baltimore's Mansion speaks to us all about the hardships, blessings, and power of family relationships, of leaving home and returning.
The acclaimed author of "The Colony of Unrequited Dreams" introduces readers to the Johnstons of Newfoundland in an intimate, captivating memoir of three generations of fathers and sons.
About the Author
Wayne Johnston is the author of four novels, including The Colony of Unrequited Dreams and The Divine Ryans. He was born and raised in Newfoundland and now lives in Toronto.