Endicott, Marina 1958-
ENDICOTT, Marina 1958-
PERSONAL: Born 1958, in Golden, British Columbia, Canada; married; children: two.
ADDRESSES: Home—Alberta, Canada. Agent—Douglas & Moore Publishing Group, Suite 201, 2323 Quebec St., Vancouver, BC V57 4S7, Canada.
Open Arms, Douglas & McIntyre (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2001.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A second novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Canadian writer Marina Endicott's debut novel, Open Arms, is a story about the relationships between several generations of women in an artistic but troubled family. Bessie Smith Connolly, who narrates the story, was raised in Nova Scotia by her grandparents after her poet father Patrick abandoned her and her rock-singer mother Isabel, who subsequently lost custody of Bessie after being arrested on a drug charge.
At seventeen, following a breakup with her boyfriend Daniel and the death of her beloved grandfather, Bessie goes to Saskatchewan to be with her mother. Isabel is now supporting herself by delivering newspapers and is living with Patrick's second wife, Katherine, and Irene, Bessie's half sister. Bessie and Irene then visit their father, who is staying on an island off the coast of British Columbia with his third wife, Doreen, who is pregnant with twins.
About to become a mother herself, Bessie goes in search of Isabel, who has gone missing with her latest lover. She is accompanied by her grandmother, Elizabeth, an aristocratic woman who searches small-town motels and bars with her as they cross the badlands of Alberta. The trip ultimately provides Bessie with insight about her family and herself.
Trevor Klassen interviewed the novelist for ffwd online and asked Endicott about her inspiration for the book. Emphasizing that she did not draw on her own family background, Endicott explained that while working with a group of writers and artists, she noticed that "they wanted a glamorous life and to have children. They expected their children to do all the adapting—and I was indignant for the children's sake." She went on to add, "I started the book from anger . . . but over the last two years of writing I became less self-righteous. People are mostly trying to do the best they can." Klassen wrote of the novel that "in the end, women tell the story of womanhood, which, asserts Endicott, isn't the airy-fairy crap of the worst of spirituality, but practical emotional and tangible guides to maturing and living well."
"Endicott is an excellent storyteller, and this is a substantial, sweet-natured novel, full of hope and promise," commented W. P. Kinsella of Open Arms in Books in Canada.. "Endicott shows a sure and skillful hand throughout the book," noted Nathan Whitlock in Quill & Quire, "weaving the lessons that Bessie must absorb into the story with nary a loose stitch." Resource Links contributor Elaine Jones called Open Arms a "wonderful first novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books in Canada, August, 2001, W. P. Kinsella, review of Open Arms, p. 26; May, 2002.
Quill & Quire, February, 2001, Nathan Whitlock, review of Open Arms.
Resource Links, October, 2001, Elaine Jones, review of Open Arms, p. 55.
ffwd,http://www.greatwest.ca/ffwd/ (September 20, 2001) Trevor Klassen, interview with Endicott.*