THE DEFENDER: Anne Arksey
Anne is a retired elementary school principal who is a lifetime resident of Springwater Township, currently residing in Midhurst. She lives with her husband, Mike, and raised three children, Russell, David, and Michelle. She is the proud Grandma of one granddaughter. Having a keen interest in history passed down to her from her mother by working on the Edenvale Tweedsmuir book, it is no surprise that her favourite genre is historical fiction. While teaching, Anne loved encouraging her students to explore literary works with the Forest of Reading, and the Battle of the Books competitions. She was an editor of a history book celebrating the centennial of the Barrie Country Club, “Playing Through”, and also the author of “We Plough the Fields”, a bilingual children’s book regarding agriculture.
Anne was pleased when the Minesing Library was created while she was in Grade 1. She has never lost the excitement when walking into a library to choose a new book!
THE BOOK: Man in the Shadows by Gordon Henderson
In 1867, three British colonies became the four provinces of the new Dominion of Canada. Among the Fathers of Confederation was D’Arcy McGee, a fiery former Irish nationalist and friend of John A. Macdonald. As the fledgling country was forming, its security was threatened by the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of Irish republicans that advocated a forcible takeover of Canada by the United States.
In this historical novel, Gordon Henderson imagines a cross-border plot to assassinate key Canadian political figures—with complicity at the highest levels of the U.S. government—in an attempt to destabilize the new country. We follow the fictional Conor O’Dea, a young Irish Catholic with political aspirations, who is the assistant to D’Arcy McGee. O’Dea becomes romantically involved with a young Protestant woman, which provokes upset and violence. When McGee is assassinated by a Fenian sympathizer—or so everyone believes—O’Dea takes it upon himself to discover the real assassin, and to prevent the prime minister of Canada, Sir John himself, from being the next victim. (Goodreads.com)