• Up the Coast: One Family's Wild Life in the Forests of British Columbia

Up the Coast: One Family's Wild Life in the Forests of British Columbia


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978-1-77439-051-1 | 2022 May | 224 Pages


Kathryn Willcock and her sisters grew up in logging camps on the coast of B.C. in the 1960s when children were set loose to play in the wilderness, women kept rifles next to the wood stove, and loggers risked their lives every single day. The author’s tales of grizzly bears, American tourists, and a couple of terrified gangsters, along with the wisdom of Indigenous elders, pour off the page like warm syrup on a stack of cookhouse hotcakes.

“Like the eight wandering arms of Jules Verne—the octopus who lives under the float—Kathryn Willcock’s stories in Up The Coast delve in every direction. Told with humour, honesty, and charm, the author depicts Orford Bay’s memorable cast of characters as well as experiences both bizarre and everyday.”
— Meaghan Marie Hackinen, author of South Away

A cheerful and sassy recreation of vibrant up-coast scenes from the author’s childhood in her parents' logging camp at Orford Bay, within the grandeur of Bute Inlet.”
— Judith Williams, author of Clam Gardens

“Luckily no child was eaten by a bear but plenty of other risky things and pure mischief happen — it’s coastal logging in 1960s after all — on the pages of this delightful memoir.”
— Dana Gee, Vancouver Sun
(full review

“Charming and funny from beginning to end, the memoir will encourage any reader to wonder what the 1970s would turn out like in Kathryn Willcock’s artful telling.”
— Brett Josef Grubisic, Vancouver Sun (full review

“The ability to write humour well is a rare skill, and if you were humming and hawing over whether you want to read this memoir or another coastal memoir, this book would be the clear choice.”
— Dave Flawes
, The British Columbia Review (full review)

“In the tradition of Harbour Publishing's Raincoast Chronicles series, this book offers a portrait of bygone times and does so with a sense of respect for the grandeur of BC's wilderness as well as plenty of humour.”
— Heidi Greco, subTerrain

“At its core, this is a novel about family, and the resilience required to etch out an alternative life amidst the sometimes unforgiving elements of the BC wilderness. Willcock’s capacity for storytelling shines through, and her thoughtful approach has resulted in a novel that is both eye-opening and enjoyable.”
— Fayth Simmons, Cloud Lake Literary (full review)