Books Backstage

The Prince George Public Library and Theatre NorthWest have partnered to connect library patrons and theatre goers with resources on themes addressed within the plays performed during Theatre NorthWest’s 2017/2018 season. In collaboration with Theatre NorthWest’s artistic director, PGPL librarians will provide recommendations of fiction, non-fiction, DVDs and other materials that may enrich the audiences’ experience of the performances. Book lists will be posted at least one month in advance of each play.

Book list to accompany Jake’s Gift, which runs Sept. 14 – Oct. 1, 2017

Juno Beach : Canada in World War II by Pierre Landry
During World War II, Canada stood alongside its allies, summoning all its human, industrial and financial resources, and mobilizing the mightiest military force in its history. At sea, on land, and in the air, Canada was involved in the great campaigns that led to the fall of the German Reich and brought back peace.

Through short narratives and original archival photos, Juno Beach:
A Window on Canada in WWII tells the story of Canada's important role from 1939-1945. Juno Beach (a code-name thought up by an unknown planner) was the landing point for Canadian soldiers on June 6, 1944-D-Day. This offensive has since entered the history books as one of the nation's proudest military accomplishments.

Unexploded by Alison MacLeod
A novel of fine-tuned beauty, sharp insight and emotional subtlety -- about a family in the shadow of WWII
May, 1940. Brighton. Wartime.
On Park Crescent, a sunlit and usually tranquil street, Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son, Philip, anxiously await news. The enemy is expected to land on the beaches of Brighton any day.
It is a year of tension and change. Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp at the far reaches of town, while young Philip is gripped by the rumour that Hitler will make Brighton's Royal Pavilion his English HQ. He spends hours with his friends imagining life in Brighton under Hitler's rule. And as the rumours continue to fly and the days tick on, Evelyn struggles to fall in with the war effort and the constraints of her role in life, her thoughts becoming tinged with a mounting, indefinable desperation.
Then she meets Otto Gottlieb, a 'degenerate' German-Jewish painter and prisoner in her husband's internment camp. As Europe crumbles, Evelyn's and Otto's mutual distrust slowly begins to change into something else, which will shatter the structures on which her life, her family and her community rest.
Love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, and the lives of Evelyn, Otto, and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably.
The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan
From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II--a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small village in Normandy on the eve of D-Day
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Arguably the best novel to come out of World War II, in which Heller strips away the veneer of martial glory to expose its insanity, and gives our language a new paradoxical phrase to describe mankind at the mercy of its own institutions.
Madeleine's War by Peter Watson
A compulsively readable blend of romance and drama based on actual events in Britain and France leading up to D-Day in 1944

Matthew Hammond is a British military officer posted to the European theater during World War II. He sustained a serious injury on the front lines, so bad, in fact, that it cost him a lung. Now he is back in England, unable to fight, but he continues to serve his country by training new resistance fighters.
One of the recruits under his command is Madeleine, a spellbinding, impassioned French-Canadian with eyes the "burnished brown of whiskey." Despite military convention discouraging romance, they fall deeply in love, and Matthew is torn about putting Madeleine's life in danger. He already has one tragic affair with a Resistance fighter burdening his heart--his former lover, Celestine, was killed because her assassination of a German doctor went awry.
But the Allies are mustering all their resources for crucial beach landings in Normandy, and Matthew knows his unit will need to play a role. It will be a very dangerous mission: parachuting Madeleine in behind the Nazi lines. As she progresses through the training with her fellow recruits, Matthew can only hope that the skills he has taught her will keep her safe when the drop finally arrives. Drawing on true historical events, Watson delivers a tense, vivid tale of love during wartime, when the fates of men and women are caught in the sweep of history.

The Longest Day [DVD]
The Longest Day is a mammoth, all-star re-creation of the D-Day invasion, personally orchestrated by Darryl F. Zanuck

Current Play:

Jake’s Gift, by Julia Mackey
This multi-award winning show is about a Canadian WW2 veteran’s reluctant return to Juno Beach for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. When he arrives, he meets an impetuous little girl who forces him to confront those experiences, helping him to find peace through their time together. Funny and heartwarming this play perfectly typifies a time in our history that coincides well with our own sesquicentennial celebrations. Wells BC native Julia Mackey’s internationally renowned play is embarking on its 10th anniversary tour at Theatre NorthWest and is the perfect play to begin our season and their tour with.

Check out Theatre NorthWest’s upcoming productions here!