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BESSIE
Cathi Bond
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A sweeping family saga beginning in The Great Depression, Bessie tells the story of a struggling nation and ends with the heart-breaking personal sacrifices made during the Second World War. At its center is Bessie Barnes, a mother of two, determined to be seen as a woman of good standing within her rural community. 

Bessie’s personal world is suddenly upended when Edward, a young historian she met at a dance when she was only 19, turns up on the family’s doorstep penniless - only to discover that he’s her absent brother-in-law. While trying to be a perfect wife, perfect mother, and a perfect neighbour, Bessie, pushed to her breaking point, comes to realize that ultimately, all that is required of her is to be true to her own heart. 

Bessie is the first book in Cathi Bond’s trilogy, A Woman of Good Standing

"Cathi Bond weaves a narrative that will tug at your heartstrings as Edward's enduring love for Bessie unfolds amidst the struggles of a bygone era. A novel that celebrates the indomitable spirit of women who held families together in the face of adversity, prepare to be swept away by Bessie. A fast-paced, beautifully written story that will evoke a myriad of emotions that will leave you cheering, contemplating, and moved to tears. With its compelling characters and gripping plot, Bessie is one book that will keep you enthralled from the first page to the last."

— San Francisco Book Review

"In Bessie, the reader is introduced to the era of The Great Depression, and what comes later, the end of WWII. However, the reader gets to know Bessie and her family. I haven't read anything by this author before, and what a hidden gem. I enjoyed it so much that I have now followed the author and look for more books to read. Bessie is part of A Woman of Good Standing Trilogy, and this is volume one, and I can't wait to read the next two books promised. Bessie is not only the titular character, but a very strong-willed woman, as she is a mother, and a pillar of the community.


Cathi Bond has a great imagination. Bessie is determined and tenacious, and determined to do whatever is necessary for her family. Insert Edward, someone who just shows up, practically homeless. Secrets are determined to pull apart the family and destroy what they have. But sometimes its family that keeps us together, and Bessie is the one who does her best to hold her family together, her husband, children, and even neighbors. This story is a wondrous trail of words and an emotional rollercoaster. It's heartbreaking and heart-fulfilling. It's gripping and incredible storyline. What an inspirational and intriguing title. Bessie is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews." 

- Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

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Cathi Bond has written extensively about contemporary culture in print and on the Internet. A well-known broadcaster for CBC Radio, she was a regular columnist for DNTO, Spark and Metro Morning. She has also contributed works of short fiction to Tel-Talk and Coach House’s Any Other Way. One of Canada’s podcast pioneers, you can listen to her and Nora Young freak out over the future on one of her latest ventures, The Sniffer.

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