THISTLEDOWN PRESS



Saskatchewan's mighty independent gets some hype



We are thrilled to be championing three exciting new books from our friends and new client Thistledown.


Let's jump right in and tell you about All is Well, the debut novel from Katherine Walker. Born and raised in Calgary where she studied fine arts. After working as a graphic designer, Katherine joined the Royal Canadian Navy, which took her to both coasts and out to sea. Her recent graduate studies in divinity, along with her artistic and military background, enhance her journey through life. You can talk with Katherine about divine guidance, dismantling underwater mines, or the connection between beauty and truth.





Christine Wright is having a bad day. She’s an ex-special forces soldier and a recovering alcoholic, and now her new career as an Anglican Minister has started off with the worst kind of bang. Could it be her reflexes are a little too twitchy for this job? From the opening page, this fast-paced tale is all about a cover up: the burying of a body, while fending off an angry widow, and a very suspicious parishioner appalled by the loss of a precious church artifact. And then there’s the vengeful plot of a terminally ill military-cop-turned-stalker who plans to get Christine locked up if it’s the last thing he does. Among the many revelations and surprises we experience is the fact that we’re instantly on the side of the unfailingly flawed and irreverent Christine—who cannot imitate a perfectly pious priest even though her life so clearly depends on it. Mystic Julian Norwich, she of the famous “all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well,” is the patron saint of this wickedly funny novel. All Is Well for Katherine Walker’s readers despite, or because of, Reverend Wright’s many wrongs.



Peacekeeper’s Daughter is the astonishing story of a French-Canadian military family stationed in Israel and Lebanon in 1982-1983. Told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old girl, Peacekeeper’s Daughter parchutes the reader into the Lebanese Civil War, the Palestinian crisis, and the wave of terrorism—including the bombing of the American Embassy—that ravaged Beirut at the height of the siege.
This novelistic memoir moves from Jerusalem to Tiberius, from the disputed No-Man’s Land of the Golan Heights to Damascus, and on to Beirut by way of Tripoli, crossing borders that remain closed to this day.

It’s June, 1982. Twelve-year-old Tanya and her family are preparing to leave their home on the military base in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to move to Israel, where her father will serve a one-year posting with the United Nations. While they’re packing up, Israel invades Lebanon. The President-elect of Lebanon is assassinated. Thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children are murdered at the Sabra-Shatila refugee camps in southern Beirut. The Middle East’s relative peace explodes into waves of violence.

It is in the midst of this maelstrom that the family arrives in Israel, and settles into an apartment. And one day Tanya and her brother walk to school; yet nothing is ordinary, nothing is familiar. The simple act of walking down the street is fraught with peril. Violence may come at them from any direction at any time.

Peacekeeper’s Daughter is a coming-of-age story, as well as an exploration of family dynamics, the shattering effects of violence and war—and the power of memory itself to reconcile us to our past selves, to the extraordinary places we have been and sights we have seen.





Born in Germany to French-Canadian parents, Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt grew up on various army bases across Canada, from Quebec’s North Shore to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. When she was twelve years old, her family moved to Tiberius, Israel, where her father served as a United Nations peacekeeper on the Golan Heights. When war broke out with Lebanon, Tanya and her family moved to Beirut, where they lived for seven months, at the height of the Lebanese civil war. Tanya’s journal from 1982-1983 became the seeds of her memoir, Peacekeeper’s Daughter. Tanya holds an MA in English Literature from McGill University and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. She lives in Quebec’s Eastern Townships with her husband and four children. Find out more about Tanya and her writing at



“A preposterous, pan-Canadian tale, straight-faced, that evolves into a quest for a dead man’s frozen head. Subtly hilarious, beautifully crafted and with lots of moving parts, this novel is fresh, original, and compelling.” --Ken McGoogan





“Where is home? Where is here? In The Beautiful Place we discover that the true geography of art begins in the heart. Profound, witty, and charming: read this novel!” — Kim Echlin, author of Speak, Silence The man we know only as Bentley is facing a triple threat—in other words, his life is a hot mess every way he looks. Like anyone who feels that he’s on the brink of annihilation, Bentley thinks back to his misspent youth, which was also the year he met his famous grandfather, the painter Philip Bentley, for the first time. To make matters worse, he has inherited his grandfather’s tendency to self-doubt, as well as that cranky artist’s old service pistol. Our hero is confused about so much. How did he end up as a cryonics salesman—a huckster for a dubious afterlife—when he wanted to be a writer? And who is the mysterious Mary Abraham, and why is she the thread unravelling his unhappy present? What will be left when all the strands come undone? Lee Gowan’s The Beautiful Place is the best kind of journey: both psychological and real, with a lot of quick-on-the-draw conversations and stunning scenery along the way —and only one gun, which may or may not be loaded.