Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Nova Scotia's Historic Harbours: The Seaports that Shaped the Province

Nova Scotia's Historic Harbours is a guide to the history and scenery of Nova Scotia's harbours. Due out 31st July 2020 from Nimbus, it's 232 pages and will be available in paperback format. Author Joan Dawson is a capable writer with a prodigious knowledge of the area. She writes well and accessibly, and her enthusiasm for the subject shines through in the prose.

The introductory chapters cover history, physical features of the harbours and the seaside, maritime activities such as fishing and shipbuilding, and some of the settlement history for both European settlers (chiefly French and English) and the First Nations inhabitants (Mi'kmaq). The bulk of the book is arranged by geographical area: Halifax's harbours, Southshore, Acadian Shore, Bay of Fundy, Northumberland Shore, Cape Breton, and the Eastern Shore. Each of the chapters contains subentries for more specific locations and attractions. I found the entries accessible and fascinating. There is a lot of information provided in a manner that manages to be educational without being dull or dry.

The book also includes a solid bibliography and links for further reading, but not (in the eARC provided for review purposes), an index. The information is arranged well enough that I didn't have trouble navigating the book.

Five stars. This is well written and comprehensive. It would be a nice planning resource for preparation to visit the area as well as a good choice for readers interested in the area. I really liked the author's respectful and truthful manner when writing about the First Nations people.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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