Having established his reputation as a prolific book reviewer and event coordinator for Bolen Books in Victoria, bookseller Robert Wiersema published his first novel, Before I Wake (Random House), about the strange aftermath of a tragic traffic accident. After three-year-old Sherry Barrett is left comatose by a hit-and-run truck driver, Henry Denton, her parents Simon and Karen struggle to maintain their marriage, barely able to cope with their grief as they care for their helpless daughter, suspended between life and death. The truck driver, who attempts suicide, is immobilized by his all-consuming guilt. Then sick and dying "pilgrims" begin to visit Sherry's bedside, believing her unworldly presence has the power to mysteriously provide healing.

They say the worst thing is to lose a child. In Wiersema's riveting domestic drama, Bedtime Story (Random House), two estranged parents must cope with their son's supernatural descent into the thralls of a fantasy novel. The structure is reminiscent of Princess Bride, the movie, in which a bedtime story leads to menacing predicaments, only this time the worst dangers are medical, in a real-life drama.

After B.C. novelist Kevin Chong wrote his book about the music of Neil Young, Wiersema has delved into non-fiction for his penetrating veneration of The Boss with Walk Like A Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen (Greystone). Part memoir, it doubles as a tribute to his wife, Cori, and others who have shared his deep appreciation for the singer-songwriter along the way.

BOOKS:

Before I Wake (Random House 2006)
Bedtime Story (Vintage Canada 2010) 978-0-679-31376-2 $21.00
Walk Like A Man (Greystone 2011) $21.95 978-1-55365-845-0

[BCBW 2011] "Fiction"