Posted by: mparlee37279 | April 20, 2009

A Note From the Author

Tanya is a forthright emotionally charged figment of my imagination. It is an occasionally earthy, occasionally  violent, passionate love story of a pioneer couple, Tanya and Tom Parker. From the nineteen twenties to the nineteen seventies we follow them through all the joy and pain that life brings their way.

As you begin Tanya, you are back in the mid 1920’s in the Westview Valley of Western Alberta. The western end of the valley is forested and melds into the foothills of the Rocky
Mountains. Some thirty miles to the east the valley flattens out and becomes parkland.

This is homesteader country. Being born in this era myself and having brought several thousand acres of bush land under cultivation, I can vouch for the struggle of these hearty pioneers as they attempted to turn forest primeval into productive farm land. Along with the hardships though, there were plenty of good times. Although Tanya is fiction, a fair amount of the story is true to life.

Intertwined with the struggle of these pioneers are three poignant love stories. With each there are hardships a plenty to overcome. Jed Osmond loses his wife and baby daughter in child birth. He is bitter over his loss and immigrates to Alberta from Tennessee. He befriends Betty, a neighbor lady who is pregnant and in an abusive relationship. Betty goes into labour in a blizzard. Jed comes to her aid and Tanya is born. Eventually Betty and Jed marry.

Bill and Emma Parker’s dream of a happy married life  is shattered when Bill loses both legs in WW1. Despite his disability they struggle to eke out a living on their farm. From their union Tom is born.

Tom and Tanya meet in a horrific scene when 16 year old Tom saves 12 year old Tanya from being raped by a pedophile. A few years later Tom begins courting Tanya. After being separated by WW2, they marry.  After a few years of marriage, infidelity raises its ugly head. The power of love and forgiveness eventually overcomes all and the marriage again flourishes. Financial loss and finally terminal illness comes their way. Without question, the ending of the story is both savage and beautiful.

Undoubtedly there are those who will take issue with the occasional bit of coarse language used by some of the more earthy characters. In addition there are some scenes of graphic violence and a few sexual encounters that may be shocking for some. If my words of caution don’t faze you, read on.

Some comments from people who have read Tanya:

” a beautiful love story.”

“once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down”

“that darn book kept me up all night, once I started reading it!”- an  83 year old senior

“a good yarn”

“the courtship described very sensitively and powerfully”

” enjoyed the book and found the large font easy to read”-  retired person

“enjoyed the book”  a 23 year old

“enjoyed the themes that were running through the book. Thank you!”

Michael Parlee


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