Comox and Denman Island writer Stewart Goodings has published his first novel, My Friend, My Enemy, set in Russia and featuring two women, Nadezhda and Alla, caught up in terrorism and the challenges of friendship at a crucial point in recent Russian history.
After a long civil service career in Ottawa and Victoria, Goodings settled in Comox 12 years ago, and became deeply involved in the writing community on Denman Island and the Comox Valley.
On Denman, he chairs the annual renowned Readers and Writers Festival, and is also an active member of the Comox Valley Writers Society.
During the 1995-2015 period, he visited both Russia and Ukraine numerous times on technical assistance missions to help those countries adjust after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The novel reflects his knowledge of Russian culture and politics.
While the story of two women whose lives are deeply affected by war and terrorism is fictional, the key incident of the book—a hostage-taking in a theatre in downtown Moscow—actually took place in 2002, resulting in the deaths of over 100 hostages due to the callous rescue operation and the negligence of the Russian leadership. This was the original inspiration for Goodings to write his novel.
My Friend, My Enemy is published by Friesen Press and is available at Blue Heron Books and the Laughing Oyster, as well as from Friesen Press or through Amazon. Goodings is available to interested book clubs or organizations to present the novel. He will have a book-signing at Blue Heron Books in Comox on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and a signing at Laughing Oyster in Courtenay on Friday, Dec. 2 from 2-4 p.m.
More details about the book and author can be found on his website: stewartgoodings.ca