Coming Soon

Rows of Praise

A new literary novel

Early in the evening of Friday 12 October 2018, Nick Maskelyne, leaving behind his friend Terry Belleville who now lives on Victoria near Gate, stepped out of the Angel Inn, and headed up Regent. He walked past his empty house, dark and haunted, and turned left onto Mary, crossing King toward the Commons, nearly soulless at that hour. Navigating the open grounds studded with towering stands of pine and oak, he proceeded past Butler’s Barrack’s and the tipped over cannon to the promenade and followed the deeply shadowed path in the growing night. He abruptly turned, cutting across John, accessing the vines belonging to the Two Sister’s Vineyard, his stride more confident. Smiling now — for this was home; he was within the rows of praise — he followed the nearly invisible trail into the rows and out again, across Peller Estates Winery, and then again into the vines. As the quarter moon rose in a sky studded with stars, he discovered a hollow beneath a row of pine, and glancing upward one last time, climbed in, wrapped himself in the boughs. He dreamed of Anna, long in the ground like the roots of the vines reaching downward into the clay; poor Anna with her big heart and her burnt face. He dreamed, too, of Ruthie; tall and thin, and beautiful too, her grey eyes level with his. Did he say she was very thin? Some say so, but, no, not really; Ruthie is just right. Tall? Yes, she is as tall as him. Did he say she played first violin? Yes, she does, brilliantly; not that Nick would know the difference between brilliant and just good, but he did cry the first time he heard her play. Did he say he loved her? Yes, of course, he loved Ruthie; she could wrap her long legs around him as if never wanting to let him go. But that is not the reason he had left the Angel so abruptly; no, no, Nick wanted to know why he could be so lucky, for, after all, who was he? He was nobody.

The Rows of Praise is centered around a mythical version of the town of Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada. Look for it to be published sometme in the spring of 2023.