The Dancehall Years

A West Coast saga from Bowen Island, 1939

By (author) Joan Haggerty
Categories: Fiction: general and literary, Fiction and Related items
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing
Paperback : 9781896949543, 352 pages, June 2016


“A major accomplishment. ” – Jack Hodgins, author of Broken Ground

This enriching, complex family saga and interracial drama brims with beautiful prose. It begins one summer on Bowen Island during the Depression, moves through Pearl Harbour and the evacuation of the Japanese and into the 1970s. Gwen Killam is a child on Bowen whose idyllic summers are obliterated by the outbreak of the war. Her swimming teacher, Takumi Yoshito, disappears along with his parents who are famous for their devotion to the Bowen Inn gardens. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and so is the future of Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle who must make an unthinkable sacrifice. The Bowen Island dancehall is well-known during the war as a moonlight cruise destination and it becomes an emotional landmark for times past and remembered. Brilliantly crafted, The Dancehall Years is a literary gem.


“It’s exciting to find a book (The Invitation) so moving, sensual and compelling that getting to the end of it is both urgent and dreaded. ” –Quill & Quire

“(Daughters of the Moon)…written with intelligence and skill and a strong, vital female identity. ” –Marge Piercy