Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mary-Rose MacColl

Mary-Rose MacColl's first novel, No Safe Place, was a runner-up for the Australian Vogel literary award. Her first non-fiction book, The Birth Wars, was a finalist for the Walkley Awards. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, and Banff, Canada, with her husband and young son.

In Falling Snow is her North American debut.

A couple of weeks ago I asked the author about what she was reading. MacColl's reply:
This week, I’m re-reading Angels of Mercy, Eileen Crofton’s great history of the women who took a hospital to an old abbey in France in World War I which inspired my novel In Falling Snow. It’s a book I first discovered accidentally in a library when I transposed two digits in a call number some years back – the title was The Women of Royaumont then. I’m re-reading the book because it’s been republished this year by Birlinn in the UK and because I so love these marvellous women who took their hospital to France. Crofton’s history is packed with interesting facts about Dr Frances Ivens and the women doctors who established one of the finest hospitals in France during the war. I find their story endlessly fascinating, that in a time when women had many more constraints than they do now they could achieve so much. “Marvellous, my dear,” as Miss Ivens might have said.

I’m also reading My Name is Mary Sutter on my Kindle because author Robin Oliveira wrote a beautiful review of In Falling Snow. What I mean by this is that her review captured what I was trying to do with the novel almost perfectly, and the review itself was beautiful writing. I’m really enjoying the historical detail in this New York Times bestseller. And since I have an interest in midwifery, it’s totally absorbing.

And I’ve just finished RJ Palacio’s Wonder which tells the story of Augie, a ten-year-old boy about to start school. Augie is horribly disfigured by a rare congenital anomaly and his parents have homeschooled him until now. This is a fabulous book for young and old about what it’s like to feel different, something we all experience to a degree, and about those around Augie, with the point of view shifting through the novel. My ten-year-old son read Wonder before me and at first I worried that he’d be upset by Augie’s condition. But of course, as I should have known, he identified with Augie, as we all do. This is a great first novel for Palacio who is a book cover designer and art director.
Visit Mary-Rose MacColl's website, and follow MacColl on Facebook and Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: In Falling Snow.

--Marshal Zeringue