Book Review: The Girl at the Top of the Tree by Barry Corbin

The Girl at the Top of the Tree

by Barry Corbin

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1775327905

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 380

I enjoy local stories that take place in rural settings, so when I read The Girl at the Top of the Tree, it struct a nerve. The story takes place in rural Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley to be exact, or as locals call it, The Valley. It starts several generations into the past, but quickly transports readers to the 1960s.

The brief family history tugs at my genealogical nerve, and I’m wondering about the surname and if I can find it on a census record. Details about the First and Second World Wars also pique my interest. I’ve done a lot of research on both because of family members, including my father, who served in them.

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Impressions OR an Overview of CCMA

ImpressionsWe are often told you don’t get a second chance at making a first impression. Those first impressions brand themselves in our memories. We recall them every time your name is mentioned or your work passes our eyes. By the time you get to make a second impression, we may have recalled the first impression a dozen or more times, making it difficult to bump it aside for a different impression to take root.

Bad impressions imbed themselves deeper than good impressions—for the most part. This means if you made a bad impression the first time, you’ll have a mountain to climb to mend the fence.

Obviously, good impressions are important in our personal lives, but they are vital in our professional lives. They can make or break our business (which is gaining a reading audience), so it’s important to pay attention to your actions and words when in public, particularly if you’re in the company of readers and writers.

The flip side of that is we are always judging the impressions of others, both new and old acquaintances. We may not consciously do this, but we do it because it’s our nature. We use our morals and opinions to apply that judgement. So while something you did was great in the eyes of one person, it might not be so hot in the eyes of another.

It’s a tough road, but one we travel every day.

I was reminded of first and lasting impressions over the weekend when I attended several events associated with the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) held in Halifax, NS. This was my first CCMA show, so my mind was wide open to what may or may not happen.

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When a Business Goes Out of Business

5x5BusinessI spoke with a relative who has been in business for himself for the past few decades. He’s seen companies come and go, and come back again. He’s seen companies that owed his company money go out of business, leaving him wondering how he would get paid for the services and products he provided.

As a person owed money by a company that goes out of business, sometimes we’re left in the dark, wondering the exact same thing: can I get the money owed to me, and if so, how do I get it?

My relative told me that getting paid isn’t automatic. Well, it is if you’re dealing with an honourable, honest company that values its reputation. When a reliable company goes out of business, all their debts are paid in full without hassle. They not only respect themselves and the laws, but their former service and product providers.

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A New Facebook Group for Writers of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia WritersI started a group. Not just any group but one for writers who live in Nova Scotia. Writers born in the province and live elsewhere can also join. After all, once a Bluenoser, always a Bluenoser.

It’s a Facebook group. Here’s the low-down.

Goal: To bring together Nova Scotia writers to share information about their writing experience, to promote their work and that of others in the province.

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Welcome to Scarinish, Nova Scotia

Scarinish, Nova ScotiaThe setting for my first romance novel, Pockets of Wildflowers, is Nova Scotia, Canada. Why Nova Scotia? Because I’ve been from one tip to the other and around most of its shorelines. I’ve cut swaths across it from north to south shore and from north to eastern shore. I’ve bathed in its lakes, peed in its oceans, climbed its mountains and crossed its rivers. I’ve camped, skied, hiked, witnessed every season, endured extreme storms and survived its forests.

Writing a story about people in Nova Scotia feels like home. Everything is at my fingertips.

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Libby’s New to Blogland but Not to Writing

What would you do with dragon’s blood? Did Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan play cricket together on the same team? Which teenaged queens lost their heads, literally? Are you interested in garden gnomes? How about Tudor history?

Have I piqued your interest?

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Book Launch: Nova Scotia Ghosts and Great Stories

Millie Macumber was a long time telephone operator in Maitland in the days when the operators, known as ‘central’ often worked alone. They knew practically everything that went on in the communities as listening in was almost a part of their job. This night a call came in for Gwen and Eugene Hirtle. When Millie answered and forwarded it on, there was no answer at the Hirtle home. The caller then said she would call again to which Millie replied that she didn’t need to bother; the Hirtles were away for the weekend and wouldn’t be home until Sunday night.

That’s just one of the stories you’ll find in Hattie Dyck’s book, Best Kept Secrets – From a Generation Past (2010, 231 pages). It includes home remedies, old traditions, community stories, news events, ghost stories and much more.

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