One for Sorrow
"....This book provides a richly evocative portrait of life in rural Newfoundland and of the hardy, colourful individuals who call it home. Most notable of these is Issy herself, whose self-effacing and unaffected nature helps her to unobtrusively work her way into reader's affections. As she eventually starts to see the people in her life and the world around her more clearly...she is able to develop a greater appreciation for their idiosyncrasies and for why things are the way they are. This is a profound realization and an important reminder to readers of all ages. Issy's story of growth and transformation is as quiet and unassuming as she herself is, but is nevertheless absorbing and satisfying––a delightful read." Canadian Children's Book News Winter 2008.
"One for Sorrow acknowledges the strength and uniqueness of outport culture....Accessible and entertaining...." Quill & Quire, May 2008.
"Second-time author Sheppard…has crafted a splendid tale, with wonderful, richly detailed characters in an enchanting but realistic setting…. A lot of literature is predicated by a “telling moment,” something that occurs that informs the rest of the narrative. Usually it’s negative; but in One For Sorrow it’s unrelentingly positive, and in a beautiful, believable way. Happily, author Sheppard says this is the first of a seven-story series, and a seminal character, an insightful, energetic newspaper reporter, makes a cameo appearance. Also happily, Sheppard proves the adage: Good writing is never wasted upon the young, and One For Sorrow is great writing." The Hamilton Spectator, May 31/08
"....Issy is a strong, independent heroine who is used to being the ugly duckling in her family. Readers will want to encourage her to be a swan. The first book in this series, Seven for a Secret, was both an award winner and a bestseller. One for Sorrow has promise to be equally successful."
Winnipeg Free Press, July 20/08
" Issy, Louise, even her mother, are all characters to enrich one's life. Not all aspects of small towns are great--does anyone really want to have no secrets?--but they have a coherence to them that keeps their inhabitants anchored to reality. T.S.Eliot said that "human kind cannot bear very much reality," but we do like looking at, and reading about, other people's methods of coping with it. One for Sorrow is a good place to start. Recommended."
CM . . . . Volume XV Number 5. . . .October 24, 2008
"One for Sorrow is a heartwarming story of a complicated, pure-hearted and appealing heroine. Readers can run along on the riveting path of Issy's life and open their eyes to the ever-widening world, searching for comfort and love beside her. This satisfying read is highly recommended for young readers of all ages." whatifmagazine.com, reviewed by Clara Szeto
This is a story for young adults set in the village of Riverbank, Newfoundland in 1971. It paints a vivid picture of life in a tiny community on Canada’s wild, remote Atlantic Coast. This is an intense, engaging story of a young girl discovering her strengths. Teens and adults alike will be captivated by the descriptions of everyday life in the early ‘70s in this isolated part of Canada.
Mary used her journalistic skills and her recollections to ensure that One for Sorrow is authentic in time and place. She grew up in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and now lives in Toronto.
Mary’s first novel, Seven for a Secret (Groundwood 2001) won the Ruth Schwartz Award in 2002. Also in 2002 it was nominated for the White Pine Readers Choice Book Award Program; named as a top young adult book by the CBC Children’s Panel, and by Quill & Quire as one of its top five books in the children’s section; it was on the Children’s Book Centre recommended list, on the American Library Association’s Notable List and was an Honour Book with the Canadian Library Association. It was also named to the White Ravens list in 2002.
Mary’s third novel in the Cook's Cove series, Three for a Wedding, will bring together some of the characters from Seven for a Secret and One for Sorrow. It will be published by Penguin Canada in spring 2009.
- Penguin Canada, April 2008
Past Praise for Seven for a Secret (Groundwood Books, 2001)
“Toronto journalist Mary C. Sheppard’s first novel is a searching portrayal of life in a Newfoundland outport, Cook’s Cove, in 1960…. Sheppard perfectly captures the dialect, and records, with vivid truth, details that render life in the outports unique and yet universal.”
-Quill & Quire
“The first thing that hits you as you read Seven for a Secret is its energy. The words fairly zip off the page, pulling you breathlessly along in their wake through a summer in the lives of three fifteen-year-old cousins…. Seven for a Secret is … a monument to the spirit that has kept "the Rock" people standing tall, supporting each other in spite of all their various troubles.”
-Canadian Review of Materials
“Lordy, lordy -- to quote its own vernacular -- this is some book! A first book by a Newfoundlander born and bred, Seven for a Secret is an unputdownable novel about the lives of three girls in the early 1960s in the fictional coastal village of Cook's Cove…. If there are dark themes and undertones to this brilliant debut novel, there is also a liveliness -- an astonishing amount of "life" -- that radiates from its pages. Its language, its characters, its story are indelible.”
-Globe and Mail