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If Tenderness Be Gold

If Tenderness Be Gold


Fiction- History
Pub Date: May 9, 2020
5.5 X 8.5 in | 350 pgs
Trade Paperback: 9781988989174
e-pub: 9891988989204


Winner - 2021 Next Generation Indie Awards for First Novel

Finalist - 2021 Next Generation Indie Awards  for Historical Fiction 

"Eleanor Albanese's debut novel, If Tenderness Be Gold, is a beautiful tapestry, woven on a loom formed by the waters of Black Bay and the boreal forests of northern Ontario, its warp strung by a mother whose loneliness and love for her child dared her to befriend an outsider. But it’s the generations of colourful characters, the mingling of Irish, Scottish, and Italian immigrants who came to Canada to scrape out an existence as farmers, healers, fishermen, and labourers, that complete this heartwarming story. Rich language, authentic voices, Eleanor Albanese has crafted a lovely work inspired by her own family that reflects the immigrant experience in northwestern Ontario."

- Jean E. Pendziwol, author of The LIghtkeeper’s Daughter

"If Tenderness Be Gold is a poetic, painterly novel about the mysteries of family - about generational memory and all its gifts and burdens. Albanese's writing is powerful magic."

- Natalie Morrill, author of The Ghost Keeper

"This story is as much a reflection on family as it is on the process of grieving."

- Jodene Wylie, Cloud Lake Literary Journal


If Tenderness Be Gold is set in 19th-century and early 20th-century northern Ontario and Manitoba. An Irish mother, an Italian herbalist, and a Scottish midwife come together on the night of a difficult birth, and the result of their union has effects that echo through the generations. 


Book Review: If Tenderness Be Gold by Eleanor Albanese

If Tenderness Be Gold: Bayview, November 2020

Wordstock Sudbury Podcast: January 2021


 About the Author

Eleanor Albanese
Eleanor Albanese is an award-winning writer, artist, playwright and filmmaker living in Thunder Bay, Ont. Her work has been published by Innana Publications, Playwrights Canada Press, Burning Books Press, Arctic Journal, as well as numerous journals and magazines. Many of her plays have been produced and/or toured extensively throughout Canada. The Novena Sisters was produced and aired nationally by CBC radio and her recent play Night Wings was produced by Superior Theatre Festival. If Tenderness Be Gold is her first novel.

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