She calls it her “COVID project.”
And while many would set, and complete, less lofty goals, the isolation factor of the pandemic was an ideal time for Eleanor Rushton to write her first book.
Golden Tuesday is a work of historical children’s fiction aimed at Grades 3 to 5, but one Rushton believes has universal appeal.
Six years in the making, Golden Tuesday germinated from a single chapter championed by Rushton’s creative writing instructor, Ellen Schwartz, at Douglas College.
“She just loved the first chapter,” Rushton said.
Schwartz was also a children’s book author. Through her encouragement and guidance, Rushton set about completing the book and then searching for a publisher.
Golden Tuesday is the story of protagonist Lily Gilmore’s transformation through difficult circumstances and how teachers, neighbours and love of nature play a role. Set in 1950s rural Ontario, Rushton said Golden Tuesday is “slightly autobiographical” and details how a lack of social services and medical benefits pose hardships for families.
School bullying and adoption are themes explored in the book and follows Lily as she gains self-confidence.
The book’s title alludes to the phenomenon of synesthesia, whereby people hear a sound or read a certain word and automatically see a colour.
“For Lily, she sees every day of the week as a colour,” Rushton said.
A voracious reader, Rushton said her favourite books have always been children’s historical literature, both as a child and as an adult.
Rushton said the book is resonating more in Ontario, probably because of its setting. While she said she would love to see the book sell well, it was never a motivating factor.
“I’m not worried about it,” she said. “I just hope people enjoy it.”
Golden Tuesday, a story of hope, redemption and the healing power of family, is available for sale at House of James in Abbotsford, as well as on Amazon.ca.