What Is Written on the Tongue

Released April, 2022

For readers of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a transportive historical novel about finding morality in the throes of war and colonization

Released from Nazi forced labor as World War II ends, 20-year-old Sam is quickly drafted and sent to the island of Java to help regain control of the colony. But the Indonesian independence movement is far ahead of the Dutch, and Sam is thrown into a guerilla war, his loyalties challenged when his squad commits atrocities reminiscent of those he suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Sam falls in love with both Sari and the beautiful island she calls home, but as he loses friends to sniper fire and jungle malady, he also loses sight of what he wants most — to be a good man.

Pre-order at


Winner: 2014 WILLA Literary Award for historical fiction
Shortlisted: 2014 Saskatchewan Fiction Award
New Editions forthcoming from Shadowpaw Press, January 2023
Dollybird cover

Banished to 1906 Saskatchewan, twenty-year-old Moira Burns must come to terms with both her unplanned pregnancy and Dillan Flaherty, the superstitious Catholic homesteader who employs her as a “dollybird.”

Housekeeper or whore? A dollybird might be either, or both, in the vocabulary of the times, leaving the community to draw its own conclusions about Moira’s role in that settler’s soddy. Determined to find redemption in the midst of derision, joy despite uncertainty, Moira faces impossible choices with consequences beyond anything she ever imagined.

Woven through with birth, death and the potential violence of both man and the elements, Dollybird celebrates the small mercies found among characters struggling under a huge prairie sky that waits , not so quiety, for them to fail.


22 thoughts on “Books

  1. Anne,
    You are an amazing writer! I have only read the poetry and some of the pieces in the farming magazines prior to this. I can’t wait to see Dollybird in print, as I am sure will happen. Your next book has a fascinating premise which holds the ring of truth from my perspective. I hope the process is as rewarding as the product!

  2. Hey Anne, I enjoyed your last article in the Country Guide, I was googling for your email to send you a note and stumbled upon your blog. Just wanted to pass on the ‘thumbs up’ on both.

  3. I do hope to read your novel..sounds so interesting. My grandmother came west at 18 to live on the farm where we once lived..she was married but living conditions then were so challenging as was society. I look forward to your

  4. Congratulations Anne! I just heard about your book at my book club last night and preordered the iBook just now. I can’t wait to receive it and get reading. Way to go!

  5. Amazing Anne! Loved it from beginning to end, a very interesting perspective of a page in history from our own backyard! Looking forward to Friday in historic South Weyburn school ~ my first book launch!!!

  6. I have chosen your book for my bookclub to read for the month of May I enjoyed the book very much.

    1. That’s so great Brenda! I hope you all enjoy it and do let me know. It’s always good to hear feedback, good or bad, so I know what to remember while writing the next novel! Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Hello Anne – Our little book club has picked Dollybird as our January read. We are meeting this evening to discuss your book. This is my second read of this book and I enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first time I read it. I am looking forward to hearing what the other members of our club think too. Hope you are working on another book!

  8. Hi Anne
    So wonderful…………..I really enjoyed reading your book. Even in elementary school your creative spirit was inspiring, glass to see it in prose.

  9. Hello Anne, Just dropping a line from St. John’s, Newfoundland. I recently picked up DOLLYBIRD at the library most accidently…but what a treat! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    All the best!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Thanks so much for the note. It’s amazing to me where DOLLYBIRD ends up and who reads the story. So happy you enjoyed it and again, thanks for making contact. Take care out there on your end of the country!

    1. Hi Faye,
      So glad you liked the book. I’ve actually been asked about a sequel a lot and, sorry to disappoint but there isn’t one. I feel like I’ve taken these characters to a place where the world is open to them and the reader can come up with their own ‘next story’ for Moira and Dillan. I am working on another novel, though. This time WWII and Indonesian War of Independence history. Quite a departure, I know. But I hope someday you will enjoy it as well! Take care.

  10. I am planning to order it for my book club and was wondering if there were discussion questions?

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