Welcome to the OFFICIAL 'About The Author' page of:
Andrea McKenzie Raine
Andrea McKenzie Raine is an emerging Canadian novelist and poet. She is the author of Turnstiles; a dramatic novel that focuses on the lives of three characters who are struggling with their inner demons and trying to find their true purpose and place in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrea McKenzie Raine was born in Smithers, BC and grew up in Victoria, BC where she still resides. She was enrolled in the Creative Writing program and earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria in 2000, and completed a post-degree Public Relations certificate program. She has attended the successful Planet Earth Poetry reading series (formerly known as Mocambopo) in Victoria, BC since 1997, and participated in the Glenairley writing retreats led by Canadian poet and novelist Patrick Lane in Sooke, BC. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry, titled A Mother’s String, through Ekstasis Editions. Her poetry has also appeared in Mocambo Nights, Canadian Literature journal, Quills, Borderlines anthology (Ascent Aspirations magazine), Tempus anthology (Rubicon Press), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press), Tongues of Fire anthology, and several Glenairley chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane (Leaf Press). She has also written book reviews and articles for local magazines, celebrating the work of her peers. Andrea lives with her husband and two young sons and, by day, is employed as a correspondence writer for the provincial government. Turnstiles is her debut novel published by Inkwater Press.
She is working on publishing her second novel titled A Crowded Heart, which is a prequel to Turnstiles.
Please visit Andrea’s author website at http://andreamckenzieraine.com
BUY THIS BOOK DIRECT FROM THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER
Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character's individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one's own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their path and take control of their own destinies.
5 stars -- I was blown away by the quality of writing in this novel. Some of the descriptions, particularly of the streets of Paris, are so beautiful that I found myself re-reading the same passages and savouring the words. This author is clearly a poet and paints a vivid picture with her words. I would describe theme of this book as philosophical. The three main characters, Martin, Willis and Evelyn spend a great deal of time thinking about their past and what has led them to their current situation. Questions of life and love and the very reason for existence are raised as they each deliberate the meaning of life. Of the three main characters, Evelyn, who runs away from an abusive home at the age of twelve, is the only one I could empathize with. Willis, a successful barrister, is a self centred man nursing grievances against his recently deceased father. Martin is a misfit who has difficulty relating to other people and never feels quite at home in the world. The story also takes us into the minds of a number of supporting characters; Bonnie, a friend of Evelyn, Ellie, the mother of Willis, and Frieda, a cloakroom attendant from Germany who crosses paths with Martin. Each has an important part to play by giving the reader more of an understanding of the main character's motives and behaviour. Evelyn, Martin and Willis all struggle to fit in with their everyday lives and are each searching for answers in the hope of achieving some sense of peace. All three are on a philosophical journey to come to terms with themselves. The settings; London, Paris, Germany, Canada and the USA, are vividly described and add variety and colour to the story. The novel ends on a positive note and gives the message that, although life may take a difficult and treacherous path, hope remains.
5 stars -- “Turnstiles” weaves together the lives of three seemingly disparate characters – Willis Hancock Jr, the alcoholic misogynist who comes from a life of entitlement and privilege; Evelyn/Yvonne, the prostitute who comes from a life of poverty, neglect and abuse; and Martin Sourdough, a homeless person who takes himself half way around the world in an effort to cast off the material world and all its perceived accoutrements. The author takes us through a journey of these three lives in the most skillful way. At times poignant, at times subtle, at times mysterious, and at times so obvious you feel like you have been hit over the head with a sledge hammer. Each time is meaningful and necessary. And where do we end up? In a place where we realize that we are all the same. In a place where we realize that, in our desperation to find our 5 own unique and special place in this world, we are all the same. For indeed – we are all seeking to find our own unique and special place in this world. And that is what binds us together. And that is the story Andrea Mckenzie Raine told so masterfully through Willis’, Evelyn’s & Martin’s lives. Lives which intersected and impacted each other’s. Lives which began differently, took different journeys but, lives which ultimately end up in the same place in different places. A great read which I recommend highly!