The best fiction books by British Columbia authors

Who am I?

I've loved writing since childhood when I lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in England that I was convinced was haunted. I'm now passionate about the history of British Columbia where I live today, and have written over twenty non-fiction historical books, true crime books, historical columns, and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. My own forthcoming fictional trilogy, The McBride Chronicles, tells the story of a fictional family from the beginnings of British Columbia until present day so I can truly say I love all fiction set in our beautiful province by BC writers. I'm delighted that we have so many talented fiction writers in the province including the ones I recommend. 

I wrote...


By Valerie Green,

Book cover of Providence

What is my book about?

“The sweeping story of two parallel lives – a feisty orphaned girl in England and the son of a poor fisherman in Scotland – who journey separately to the frontier of the New World in search of a better life.

After many adventures along the way, they meet in Victoria on Vancouver Island, fall in love, marry and create a family dynasty and transportation business. Containing hardship, gambling, intrigue, deception, lies and, above all, a great love, Providence will be enjoyed by all who relish historical fiction at its finest. This first book in the trilogy is set against a backdrop of British Columbia’s fascinating history from the 1850s to the 1870s.”

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The books I picked & why

Forest Green

By Kate Pullinger,

Book cover of Forest Green

Why did I love this book?

Kate Pullinger has written a powerful portrayal of a man at various stages of his life from childhood to old age. She has created a character, Arthur Lunn, who will move you to tears as he travels through life with memories that haunt him and demons he cannot dispel. Much of the story is set in the wilderness of British Columbia where the green forest gives him strength and hope. This story will preoccupy you as young Art journeys from innocent childhood during the depression years, to an old man of eighty living on the streets of Vancouver.

Book cover of Not of Reason: A Recipe for Outrunning Sadness

Why did I love this book?

This book connected with me on many levels as she struggles to understand the meaning of why younger people sometimes have to die before their parents. She also gives a clear and accurate description of the stress of caregiving for a family member and then the aftermath of grief. The strongest message I personally took away from this book was the power of love within a family who, despite living far from one another, came together to help each other through pain. This is a very powerful read with a strong message of hope.

By Rita Moir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not of Reason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rita Moir’s mother and sister underwent heart surgery in the same week; a year later her sister was dead and her elderly mother lived many more years. Not of Reason: A Recipe for Outrunning Sadness is a family memoir centred on the deaths of the author’s sister and mother and the final restoration of what is considered “the natural order.” Encouraged by her mother to “opt for joy,” Moir remained grounded within her rural BC community in the Slocan Valley, becoming deeply involved in everything from her local community hall to seniors housing and her local burial society, while continuing…

River of Lies

By R.M. Greenaway,

Book cover of River of Lies

Why did I love this book?

I always enjoy a good mystery and R.M. Greenaway’s River of Lies is definitely one I would recommend. This book is the fifth in the B.C. Crime Series of mysteries by Greenaway but it was the first I had read—and it won’t be the last. The two detectives, Cal Dion and David Leith, are strong characters who come together in this book to solve a murder of a young black female janitor, a missing child case, a drowning, and an apparent suicide. Once they find the missing link between all these incidents, they are able to make progress. I found this an absorbing whodunit that held my attention to the very last page.

By R.M. Greenaway,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked River of Lies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In rain-drenched Vancouver, detectives Dion and Leith work to separate truth from lies in two seemingly unrelated cases.

February is the month of romance, but in North Vancouver it's also become the month of murder. While the North Shore RCMP slog through the rain in the search for whoever left a young woman to die in the Riverside Secondary School parking lot - their first clue a Valentine's Day card - a toddler mysteriously vanishes from a Riverside Drive home in the midst of a dinner party.

With Constable JD Temple's full attention on the parking lot murder, Constables Dave…

Book cover of The Chief Factor's Daughter

Why did I love this book?

As an historian, I enjoyed Vanessa Winn’s portrayal of Colonial Victoria in The Chief Factor’s Daughter. Hudson Bay Chief Factor, John Work, protects all his daughters with many restrictions on their lives causing his eldest daughter, Margaret, to fear that at age 23 she will never find a suitor and is destined to remain a spinster forever. The author shows a fascinating side of society in 1858 where although Margaret and her sisters belong to the upper class in the fur-trading community, they are also the victims of snobbery and racism because their mother is Metis. Winn’s sequel Trappings continues with the story of Kate Work, another daughter, and both books are a good read for those who love family history.

By Vanessa Winn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chief Factor's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chief factor: In the Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trade monopoly, the title of chief factor was the highest rank given to commissioned officers, who were responsible for a major trading post and its surrounding district.

Colonial Victoria in 1858 is an unruly mix of rowdy gold seekers and hustling immigrants caught in the upheaval of the fur trade giving way to the gold rush. Chief Factor John Work, an elite of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade and husband to a country-born wife, forbids his daughters to go into the formerly quiet Fort Victoria, to protect them from its burgeoning transient…

The End of East

By Jen Sookfong Lee,

Book cover of The End of East

Why did I love this book?

Jen Sookfong has written a debut novel that held my attention throughout. She describes three generations of a Chinese-Canadian family in Vancouver beginning in 1913 when Chan Seid Quan emigrates to Vancouver at the age of 17. Years later after his death at age 94, his grand-daughter, Samantha, is forced to leave Montreal in order to take care of her mother in Vancouver. She feels resentment until she begins to delve into her family’s past and discovers alienation and hardship. Author Sookfong is an expert on immigration and the fate of many Chinese people. This is a beautiful tale of family conflicts set in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

By Jen Sookfong Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Amy Tan and Jhumpa Lahiri, a moving portrait of three generations of family living in Vancouver's Chinatown

From Knopf Canada's New Face of Fiction program--launching grounds for Yann Martel's Life of Pi and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees--comes this powerfully evocative novel.

At age eighteen, Seid Quan is the first in the Chan family to emigrate from China to Vancover in 1913. Paving the way for a wife and son, he is profoundly lonely, even as he joins the Chinatown community.

Weaving in and out of the past and the present, The End of East…

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