Swallowtail Calling: A Naturalist Dreams Of Grand Manan Island
Wendy Dathan

Shoreline Press

Wendy Datham’s earlier memoir, Bauxite, Sugar and Mud, describes her childhood in British Guyana. Forty years later, living in Montreal, married with two grown sons, Datham visits Grand Manan Island off the coast of New Brunswick. As the ferry draws closer to the island she has an extraordinary experience: “Suddenly, without warning, a voice in my head said, ‘I am going home.'” After grandparenthood, grad school and a divorce, Dathan returns to live on Grand Manan. Her partner Tim, a complex and resourceful man, owns a house which had been left derelict and vandalized by squatters. The last part of the book describes their Herculean efforts to bring the once-lovely house back to life. Dathan has a naturalist’s eye for detail and beauty, and a kind and generous nature, so flora, fauna, and the human inhabitants of Grand Manan are treated with respect and fondness. mRb