By Anna Blauveldt
The lives of several families are thrown into tragic disarray when a devious fertility doctor betrays their trust in the first of two novellas, To Play at God.
Doctor Alan Wilcross has escaped his impoverished past in England and set up shop in Canada as a leading fertility specialist. When his old college friend Joan seeks advice on having a child with her wife Helen, the doctor offers to be their sperm donor. Years later, this gesture will lead to revelations about the now-teenaged children of three other couples who were patients at the doctor's clinic. In the end, the fates of multiple families become intertwined in this tightly wound tale of the tragic consequences of a doctor defying his Hippocratic Oath.
The second novella, Ask Gloria, is set before and during the COVID-19 pandemic as Jennifer Carr struggles with alcohol addiction while the world locks down. Her daughter Layla is an orderly on the COVID ward of a hospital and is trapped in an abusive relationship. Jennifer uses her advice column, “THAT’S LIFE—Ask Gloria Pierce” to coax Layla into escaping her violent partner. Will they both be able to overcome their struggles, made that much worse by the confinement brought about by the pandemic?
Author Anna Blauveldt’s two novellas explore themes of deceit, betrayal, love, and perseverance in this timely debut.
“Gripping stories of the web we create from our twisted choices—Blauveldt's writing is swift and engaging. Intriguing and intense, these characters will stay with you long after their stories end.”
-- Lania Knight, Writer, Lecturer, and Tutor
“Once I started reading the second novella in this collection, Ask Gloria, I couldn’t stop! Did you ever hit the wall over and over? Jennifer did. Her moving story, unfolding in the time of COVID, vividly relates her struggles with alcohol and the specter of her daughter's abuse at the hands of her partner. Is there a way forward for Jennifer? To find out, read Ask Gloria, it’s worth it.”
--Suzanne Gagnon, Author of Passeport Rouge
About the Author . . .
Anna Blauveldt was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and graduated with an Honours B.A. degree from the University of New Brunswick. She moved to Ottawa to pursue a career with the federal government, culminating in her appointment as Canada’s Ambassador to Iceland. She subsequently completed the Post-Graduate Creative Writing Program of Humber College in Toronto and obtained a Masters’ degree with Merit in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, UK, in 2019.
Her children’s picture book, Kat and the Meanies, was published in 2016. Her short story Irma appeared in the 2019 anthology “A Two-Four of Tales,” and her story Released appeared in the 2020 anthology “Short Stories for a Long Year,” both published by Ottawa Independent Writers.