Local author launches first fictional historic novel based on Hurricane Hazel

While many in a community know and recognize their ministers and chaplains, they may not know that they have other aspirations – such as becoming a published author.  They always say that you should write about that of which you know and, in Bob Johnston’s case, that is what he has done.

His first historic novel, ‘Like a River Flows’, draws on his days of growing up in the 1950s in Toronto in a time of post-war, following Charlie Thompson a young teenager with all the challenges and angst that being a teenager can bring.

    Author Bob Johnston launches his new historic novel – Like a River Flow

The author inter-weaves the characters that include Charlie’s family and their secrets and an immigrant family that is trying to meld their old-world customs with the new world in which they live.  He looks at life in the 1950s and the dramatic changes that took place.

Charlie’s fascination with the Humber River in Toronto belies his actual paralyzing fear of water and when Hurricane Hazel arrives and the Humber becomes something else – his life is forever altered.

When Hurricane Hazel struck Ontario, the shore communities of Lake Huron were not to escape. In Southampton, the storm struck with a vengeance resulting in a disastrous train wreck that killed two local men.

Johnston has brought the inter-connection of Hurricane Hazel through his novel. Now living in Southampton, he is dedicating part of the proceeds from the sale of his book to the anticipated restoration of what has become the historical site of the tragic train wreck that night when Hazel swept through the community resulting in the two deaths of local railway crew.

At the historic site, the author reads the interpretive signage commemorating                                                     the train tragedy
                                       The culvert where the train disaster took place

‘Like a River Flows’ is available at –

Southampton:  A Little of This and That (High St. besides CIBC)
Kincardine/Goderich:  Fincher’s (book stores)
Direct Ordering:  longrun61@hotmail.com