A fictional story based in Kelowna allows readers to experience the reality of growing up while caught between contrasting religions during a pandemic.
The book, Stillwater, will be read by Darcie Friesen Hossack at it’s launch on May 27, at the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna.
Hossack was born to a Mennonite mother and a Seventh-day Adventist father and throughout her upbringing would step between the worlds of the two different and extreme religions.
“It was an unmitigated disaster,” said Hossack about her parent’s marriage that ultimately ended in divorce.
Her family moved to Kelowna when she was sixteen and became involved in the Okanagan Adventist community.
Throughout the book, Hossack draws on her experience of growing up in a household that believed that the Earth was only a few thousand years old, and how she had to grapple with lifelong beliefs in the face of science.
In Stillwater, the protagonist, Lizzy, is a teen who is struggling to reconcile her beliefs in faith while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I hope people feel seen,” said Hossack. She understands the difficulty of loving people who refute science and explores how people in conservative religions can be particularly susceptible to conspiracy theories.
In the book, Lizzy’s father moves the family to a commune during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid vaccination while the teen sees cracks in the conspiracies being told to her as gospel.
Hossack wants to “hold up a mirror” to religions, like the Seventh-day Adventists, as a way to support those who have left the church or are struggling with their own faith.
After the book launch and reading on May 27, which is from 12p.m. to 2p.m., Hossack will be signing copies of the book at Mosaic Books on Bernard Avenue from 3 until 4p.m.
Hossack has also written about growing up as a Mennonite in her book Mennonites Don’t Dance. For more information on Hossack and her work, visit darciefriesenhossack.wordpress.com.