For this week’s blog, I thought I’d introduce you all to one of Ricky’s best books: Limberlost.

Blurb: The scene is set in Southern Ontario during the emergence of the 1960’s. In the format of purposely brief chapters, the theme unfolds a narrative of events which search and expose the tangled emotional alterations of a virtuoso who desperately yearns to bring her austere demons to rest. The result is and explicit non-cliché colour portrait of devouring pathos and perverse humour; which correlate and blend a relationship of semi-autobiographical sequences with semi-fiction. From the onset, the twists and turns of her life will promise the effect of a compelling and curious realism of empathy; they will captivate, enthral and follow the heart of even the most casual reader.

The story opens with a lonely girl, checking into the restaurant: Limberlost, on a snowy night in Canada. Slowly, as we progress through the story, she grows in strength and confidence and we are introduced to quirky and vibrant characters such as Sandra, who joins our protagonist in visiting the old family house, filled with memories of the past.

What makes this book the most authentic, is that it is based on a true story, as is the case with all of Ricky’s work, and in this way, the story is more special, heart-felt and relatable with real human emotions and through the journeys of each character.

The Limberlost is a real restaurant in Canada which is featured on the front of the book, surrounded by a nature reserve.

Our protagonist finds a sense of warmth and homeliness in this place and when reading, this warmth and sense of family, and homeliness resonates within the reader. Everyone has that one special place, that isn’t their literal home, but feels cosy, like a second home, whether it be a restaurant, café or lodge.

Here are some reviews of Ricky’s “Limberlost”

Sensitive, emotional and profound – Ricky Dale enjoys an easy and fluid writing style and a sure ear for the rhythms of contemporary speech; dialogue, in particular internal, is well crafted”

Athena Press, London, England – Affiliated in the USA

“Compelling, beautifully, sentimental and sensitively written – almost spiritual”

Rosemary Merrell, Devonshire, England – Retired

A quote on the blurb of this book that I think that we can all really feel deep within us is this:

“Who. After all. Kmows who we really are of where we are going? We are all, in a way, carried onwards by a greyhound bus”

In this day and age, with so much immense pressure to make something other of ourselves and achieve such extreme goals and function under all the pressure, this quote gives some sort of reassurance that, no one really knows who they are or where they are going, and that is the most beautiful part of life.

Ricky began to write Limberlost in 2006, described it as a “stopgap measure” whilst his daughter was attending college/university, assuming that the finalised novel might make an interesting read for family and friends – and conceivably a mixed assortment of booksellers/readers.

Limberlost was initially going to be a “one off” book, until residents of the UK and Canada were eager to find out more about the story and whatever happened to Kystyna (Kim)

The great thing about this series is that it doesn’t necessarily have an order. The books may be labeled “prequel” or “1, 2, and 3”, but they really can be read in any order as the main character, Kystyna and her family are “abundantly unsystematic”.

The book is dedicated to Ricky’s daughter Kim, or (Dr Kim Jayne) and inside the book is a picture of the bank of Winter Creek in which Ricky and his daughter walked along in 2001.

Overall, the story is such a beautiful one, with so many wonderful characters from all walks of life, with high spirits and colourful personalities, each based off of someone who or was truly present in Ricky’s life. So much time and effort and love has been put into writing these books and these books are so unique in the sense that they offer that sort of realism and authenticity that makes us ponder about our own lives and living them to the fullest. If you love family orientated books, kinship, love, romance, drama and a strong female lead, this book is the one for you.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it and it has helped you to find an interesting new read to add to your list !

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