Why did I love this book?
When Robert MacNeil’s debut novel Burden of Desire was published in 1992, it stood out to me because it offered a fresh take on the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Explosion of 1917 as a backdrop to his compelling love-triangle storyline.
The Explosion was the largest man-made disaster in the world prior to World War II, and every school child in Nova Scotia, including myself, traditionally learns of the Explosion by reading Barometer Rising, Hugh MacLennan’s iconic novel that was published in 1941.
But MacNeil’s novel proves that historical fiction can be spicy and entertaining as well as truthful to its time period and setting. He is well-remembered as a television journalist for his long-running PBS show, the MacNeil Lehrer Report. Mr. MacNeil is now 92 years young.