When a retired actor who frequents a city park is purported to be transitioning from man to deer, municipal authorities in St. John’s, Newfoundland, find themselves confronted by an exasperatingly difficult problem.
Complications mount as advocates, bureaucrats, police, and local politicians try to corral the situation, which escalates into an even bigger problem after the story blows up on Facebook. Leading the charge is the mayor himself. A former professional hockey player and local hero, Mayor Matt Olford is juggling a number of personal challenges on top of his city’s man-deer problem: his wife has become a born-again Christian and he’s found himself attracted to one of his colleagues at City Hall. When the Prime Minister’s office calls to ask if he’ll run as a Conservative in the next federal election, Mayor Olford finds himself at a crossroads: Surrender his political values or remain as the sole voice of reason on the increasingly ineffective city council?
Edward Riche, an award-winning writer for page, stage, and screen, was born in Botwood on the Bay of Exploits on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Edward Riche being born in Newfoundland and the book taking place in St. John’s is no coincidence — the pages are filled with real streets, people, and businesses that can all be found in St. John’s.
Here are just a few of the places and businesses in St. John’s you’ll be taken to in Today I Learned It Was You:
St. John’s IceCaps
The Sprout Restaurant
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary
Avalon Wilderness Reserve
Rennie’s Mill Road
Waterford Bridge Road
Marie’s Mini Mart
Gander Bay Clarenville
New Gower Street
Edward Riche’s first novel, Rare Birds, was adapted into a major motion picture starring William Hurt and Molly Parker, and his second novel, The Nine Planets, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and won the Thomas Raddall Head Award. Edward Riche lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.