On Rustico Shore
Jami van Haaften is a librarian and author of An Index to Selected
Canadian Provincial Government Publications for Librarians, Teachers and
Marjorie Hooper Dalziel is a native of Rustico Shore and writes of this Prince Edward Island locale with affection. Although On Rustico Shore is her first novel, the author’s first poem was published when she was only eight, and she has since published poems, articles, and short stories.
This novel, originally intended to be a short story, tells the story of a shipwreck and one of its survivors. The story revolves around the MacDonald family, including Andrew, his wife Meg, and children John, 16, Jenny, 15, and James, 12. The MacDonald family takes in a young injured survivor of the shipwreck, who remains with them through the winter.
The opening page of the book contains a detailed map of the northern portion of the P.E.I. coast, which contains Rustico Bay. The location of the shipwreck, the MacDonald farm, and other landmarks in the community are identified.
The author draws a heart-warming picture of rural life in P.E.I., where a man is judged by his worth, where traditional values prevail, and where family life is close-knit and supportive. Questions about the future are neatly laid to rest in the final chapters of the book. The novel makes for a satisfying mix of adventure and romance for young readers.