Lorraine Gruzuk has lived in Wasaga Beach for over 30 years, and worked as a teacher and principal in local public schools before her recent retirement from Ontario’s Ministry of Education. She is a strong supporter of the public library, as both an avid reader and a member of the Wasaga Beach Library Board. She enjoys many outdoor activities and spending time with her children, granddaughters and faithful dog, Jess.
Gruzuk strongly believes that a vibrant public library has a powerful impact on its community, and that reading opens doors to learning about and understanding the lives and perspectives of others. She welcomes this opportunity to defend one of her recent favourite books, Elizabeth and After, by Matt Cohen, a novel that explores how place and family shape who we are through a story of the intersections of life in a small Ontario town.
Carl McKelvey returns to his small-town home after being away for several years, intent on rebuilding his life and being a good dad to the young daughter he left behind. Eleven years earlier, he drove his car into a tree, killing his mother, Elizabeth, and the guilt still shadows him. Now his father, William, is dead too. Past and present collide in Matt Cohen’s final novel, a deft exploration of how place and family shape who we are — and how we can never escape them, no matter how far we run or how long they’ve been gone.
Elizabeth and After won the 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.