A vividly wrought memoir, Last Dance in Shediac is a collection of the author’s personal memories of her mother—celebrated Canadian artist Molly Lamb Bobak—and a tender meditation on life and death.
“I had always assumed that neither of my parents would end up in an old folks’ home. And yet here was Mum, ensconced in a world of pad-covered recliner chairs, legion singalongs, ball-tossing exercises done sitting down, plastic cups of juice, Jell-O, and fluorescent lights. “Mum, this really isn’t a home; it’s more like a hotel for old people,” I’d tell her, and that temporarily softened the blow for both of us.” —An excerpt from the book
Molly Lamb Bobak (1922–2014) was the first woman to travel overseas as an official Canadian war artist. She was also the daughter of famous Canadian artist Harold Mortimer-Lamb, whose contemporaries included Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, and Jack Shadbolt. In this homage to her artist mother, Anny Scoones rounds out her mother’s public profile by revealing personal stories.
Anny’s memories reveal the funny and touching details of her relationship with Molly, from the road trips they took together to the visits Molly would make to Victoria to visit Anny on Glamorgan Farm, and the lovely chaos that ensued when Anny’s five dogs would greet Molly in the car. Anny shares their little inside jokes and the memories they made together in a way that brings their connection—beyond mother–daughter bond to close friendship—to life for the reader.
As her mother ages and becomes increasingly frail, Anny spends more and more time in Fredericton. Their road trips grow shorter, and Anny’s reflections on how it feels to finally watch her mother go are tender, heartbreaking, and memorable.