The Pelee Project

One Woman’s Escape from Urban Madness

On a tiny, little-known island, the most southerly inhabited place in Canada, I arrived in a January snowstorm with my then eight-year-old daughter. I had fled the caffeinated urban rat race for a new place—a quiet place—where I could think about rebooting my life and figure out how to become a writer, a real writer. I don’t know how I thought I would make that happen. I was hanging my hopes on some miracle. A partial one had already been delivered to me by the national newspaper I worked for: it had asked me to write a series of columns about my self-imposed exile.

In summer, Pelee Island heaves with sun-tanned tourists and raucous activities: there is something of the Wild West to its personality; but in winter it slips into hibernation as the 100 or so permanent residents switch to a different rhythm and surrender to a harsh life on this flat, snow-swept patch gripped by a frozen lake. Never had I known blacker nights and more peaceful days. It was heaven. Then, one day, someone knocked on my door, and the secrets of island life came tumbling over the threshold. I was never the same after that.

Published 2002

ECW Press (Canada)

Post Hypnotic Press (Canada)

Audiobook available from Post Hypnotic Press (Canada)

The Pelee Project book cover image
The Pelee Project | Jane Christmas