Author Jill Sooley’s second novel, Baggage, examines the step family. Drawing on humour and heartbreak, as she did in Widows of Paradise Bay, this story unfolds from the perspectives of three women – Marie, mother and stepmother; Floss, Marie’s daughter who grew up in a broken home and must deal with her mother’s second marriage; and Lolly, the rebellious stepdaughter and young single mother who has never felt comfortable in her place within the stepfamily. Baggage highlights the ties that bind the stepfamily in all its awkward, complex, and optimistic tension.
The Widows of Paradise Bay
Prissy Montgomery goes to great lengths to avoid having sex with her husband, Howie. So when he confesses to having an affair and requests a divorce, she shouldn't be all that surprised. With her fourteen-year-old son in tow, she leaves the comfort of her Toronto home and heads back to Paradise Bay, her childhood home in Newfoundland. But Prissy's mother, in an effort to spare her daughter humiliation, takes out an obituary to announce Howie's untimely demise. Prissy is horrified by the deception, especially when her childhood friend becomes widowed for real. When her son has an altercation with the law, Howie, the "dead" husband heads home to help, and his arrival leaves the town of Paradise Bay with more questions than answers.