Longtime Fernie resident Gordon Sombrowski launched his début book, What Echo Heard, at Park Place Lodge on November 20 to a crowd of over 100 people.
Sombrowski did two readings over the course of the afternoon, tempting the audience with excerpts from five of his stories. The gathered throng greeted him with smiles, laughter and applause as his genuine warmth filled the room. Publisher Randal Macnair read from a letter by Sombrowski’s mentor Peter Oliva and spilled a few drops of wine on the book for luck.
What Echo Heard is a collection of stories that lead the reader though life in a rural mountain town.
Sombrowski uses humour to explore sensitive subjects and gets to the core of human nature without shying away from the dark realities of life.
Alcohol abuse, intolerance and sexuality are treated with a deft touch, bringing the reader into the complex world of his characters.
“This is a beautiful collection of tales: warm, beguiling in its humour, and heart-felt,” said Peter Oliva.
“It has the confident voice of a town insider, a consummate storyteller, one who cares about these immigrant characters, and a time that has (only recently) disappeared. Each story seems to say: ‘Come, sit on this bench. I have a secret to tell you.’”