June Packwood (1941- ) was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where she lives today and operates a bed and breakfast with her husband and granddaughter. Part Irish, she has always been concerned about the plight of the Irish and this has come through in her writing. Her book "The Emerald Cloak" (2001) was published by Borealis Press.
260 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780888872593 $17.95 CA
About the Book
The Emerald Cloak begins in Northern Ireland, County Tyrone, in 1830, when the prime character, Molly O´Connor, is five. By 1846 she is an accomplished healer with a young family, and together with the Dermitt family, emigrates to Canada in search of a better life.
From the shores of Mirimachi, moving through Québec and on into Upper Canada and the Ottawa Valley, they experience hardships, heartaches, and setbacks; but their love and strength, and especially the strong-willed Molly, keep them from despair. Molly realizes her dream of being a healer as she works her way through quarantine stations, Québec slums, Indian reservations, and backwoods communities.
Once settled in Upper Canada, while building their homestead and family-operated lumber mill, Molly continues her work of healing. The mill is a success, and Molly´s hard work and perseverance pays off, though not without a price.
The emerald cloak she wears, passed on to her by her mother, becomes the emblem of her courage. It has shielded her, and kept her memories alive for the land she once called home. Ireland will always remain in her soul.