Every visit to Fernie is a trip down memory lane for Marina Endicott.
The Canadian author spent part of her childhood in the Elk Valley, living in Fernie from age two to six.
“It’s so strange to be in a place that I don’t really know but I physically can walk places, I know where my piano teacher’s house was and the route from my house to the post office,” she said.
“It’s almost muscle memory that we develop when we are first conscious and that consciousness for me started in Fernie, so it always feels like home.”
On Friday, Endicott appeared at the Fernie Heritage Library as part of the Booked! Fernie Writers’ Series.
The Giller prize finalist read from her latest novel, Close to Hugh, and offered insight into her upcoming release, The Difference.
“I seem to go back and forth from the present time to the past and Close to Hugh is set firmly in the present,” said Endicott. “It’s about the aging process as we come past our own upheavals and are then dealing with elderly parents and maturing kids.
“It’s about an adult, whose mother is dying in hospice and the children of his friends who are graduating high school, and wondering what to do in the next part of their lives. He’s just somebody who is trying to make things better for everybody else since he’s kind of given up on making things better for himself.”
Endicott is fascinated by families and how they’re constructed, which is a recurring theme in her books. However, she said they are each very different.
The Difference tells the story of a woman who takes a voyage to the South Seas in 1911 and buys a child for four pounds of tobacco. It was inspired by a factual story but is entirely fiction and will be released this fall.
Endicott divides her time between Toronto and Edmonton, and was looking forward to meeting readers in Fernie.
“It’s always a treat to meet readers in person,” she said. “I started my career in the theatre and I was used to instant feedback, so it’s great to be able to be in the same room as people who have read my books… and to give them some idea of what I was thinking when I was writing.
“A personal connection with the writer and readers is a great gift for both.”