Finalist for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book at the 2016 Manitoba Book Awards. From the killing fields of Europe, to the merciless beauty of the Canadian prairies, Let Us Be True tells the story of three women, whose lives have been shaped and damaged by secrets - their own and those that stretch back through time, casting their shadow from one generation to the next.
At the heart of the novel is 74-year-old Pearl Calder, a woman who has thrown away her past and kept it a secret from her daughters. But as Pearl confronts her own mortality, she begins to understand what her dead husband, Henry, has always known. Secrets are like dark and angry ghosts. And they don't just haunt you. They haunt everyone you love. Alternating between the past and present, and between Pearl's voice and the voices of her family members, both living and dead, the story explores how all of our lives, to a greater or lesser degree, are shaped by secrets: our own as well as ancestral secrets we may know nothing about, but which affect who we are and who we become. Pearl is no exception. With a life that spans the Great Depression, the 2nd world war and the deep conservatism of the postwar boom, Pearl's secrets are rooted in events over which she had no control: the death of her mother; a father destroyed by war; a brother who adores her, but who dies on the beaches of Dieppe, and a sister who abandons Pearl to save herself.
Let Us Be True is Erna Buffie's first book publication.Over the past 25 years, she has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning documentary films for broadcasters around the world, and has interviewed some of the world's most interesting scientists and thinkers, including David Suzuki, Gloria Steinam and Jane Goodall. In 2013 she won the award for Best Direction in a Documentary at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards for her film Smarty Plants and in 2011, she wrote and directed The Changing Sea, which won several awards, including The Save The Seas Foundation Award at the 2011 International Wildlife Film Festival. Her other film writing and directing credits include, The Pill, By Woman's Hand and The Burning Times. Erna lived in Montreal for 20 years, and in a seaside home just outside of Halifax, for seven. In 2011, she decided to return to the prairies and the city where she was born and raised. She now divides her time between Winnipeg and a small cottage on LongPine Lake in the Whiteshell, which she shares with her husband and their little grey mutt.
Reviews for Let Us Be True : "... Let Us Be True remains vital, present and taut throughout. A story as starkly beautiful as a prairie landscape." - The Globe and Mail
"... delicously vivid prose... " - CBC Books
"Buffie has crafted a stunning addition to the Canadian literary canon..." - The Calgary Journal