Posted by Ms. L. Ward, Teacher Librarian WVSS
Authors are like rock stars to me. But in this case, the author of Where I Belong really is a rock star. Alan Doyle, one of the founding members of Great Big Sea, has recently written a memoir of his life growing up in a small town in Newfoundland. I was lucky enough to meet Doyle during his recent book tour at an event put on by the Vancouver Writers Festival. After a heartwarming presentation, Doyle spent hours signing books and interacting with fans. When it was my turn, I handed him our library copy of Where I Belong. He reacted with overwhelming enthusiasm. He was thrilled that his book was in a library! I think the expression on his face says it all!
My Review of Where I Belong, posted on Library Thing.
Where I Belong is a testament to the power of a sense of place. It is a love letter to Newfoundland from “Alan Doyle of Petty Harbour.” In Where I Belong, Doyle chronicles his adventures from being a cod-tongue cutting alter boy hanging out at the wharf in Petty Harbour, to being a religious-free-agent and museum guide in St. John’s at the genesis of Great Big Sea. Throughout those years, he more than lived up to his mother’s send-off pronouncement; “be good.”
Coming from “the musical Doyles of Petty Harbour”, it is not surprising that Doyle would become a successful musician. Throughout the book though, you come to realize that his success comes not just from his natural talent, but from his hard work, positive outlook, kindness towards others, and genuine good nature. What he attributes to a lucky break seems more likely a recognition of these qualities by others.
Though the book ends where Great Big Sea starts, it will certainly appeal to fans of the band and Doyle’s solo work. It should also be required reading for all Canadians to better understand what it means to be a Newfoundlander. It is also a pretty good inducement to visit the province that “Canada joined” in 1949.
Click here to see my other reviews on Library Thing.