A murder, a tryst, a mysterious child. A Victoria aristocrat who obsesses over her Churchill relatives. A repressive Welsh mother with a royalty fixation. A once-carefree Hesquiat girl from Nootka Sound. A dashing Icelandic philanderer. And quiet, steady Julia Godolphin, trying to rise above it all. The lost novel of Norma Macmillan, the Vancouver actress who lived much of her life in New York and Hollywood, is the work of a woman steeped in the American entertainment industry but deeply in love with the history of her native province, which eventually drew her home before her death in 2001.
The Maquinna Line: A Family Saga is set on Vancouver Island from 1871 to 1945, with a nod to the meeting of Captain Cook and Chief Maquinna in 1778. It traces the stories of the five families of varied social standing, including two descendents of Chief Maquinna. In the end, they’re all ordinary people trying to find happiness in the face of intrigue, ambition, misunderstanding and changing social and sexual mores.