The Good Women of Safe Harbour by Bobbi French wins N.L. Reads 2023

The Good Women of Safe Harbour by Bobbi French wins N.L. Reads 2023.

Public votes French's novel as 'must-read' book in the province in sixth N.L. Reads

A poster with a blue background announcing in red: Congratulations to The Good Women of Safe Harbour and author Bobbi French - 2023 Winner NL Reads (in gold). There's a red square with a photo of a woman with short, grey hair and the cover of a book, a woman on a beach looking out to the water.
(Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries)
The Good Women of Safe Harbour by Bobbi French is the winner of N.L. Reads 2023.

Woman with short light grey hair - head and shoulders photo.
Author Bobbi French. (Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries)
"Overjoyed," French wrote on Twitter after learning of her win. "So grateful to everyone @NLPubLibraries for this amazing honour and for this incredible celebration of #NewfoundlandandLabrador literature."

The Good Women of Safe Harbour is about a woman who finally gives herself a chance to love and be loved.

N.L. Reads 2023 is a celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador books, authors and readers. French was named winner at a public event at A.C. Hunter Public Library in St. John's on Wednesday. 

Over the last four months, four new local books have been in the running for the title of Newfoundland and Labrador's "must-read" book of the year, as determined by the reading public of the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries' provincial "Battle of the Books" was inspired by the CBC's popular annual literary event Canada Reads. 

N.L. Reads is now in its sixth year.

The 6th annual NL Reads competition all came down to one 'must read' book last night at the AC Hunter Library in St. John's. We taking about the book, the winner, and what winning NL Reads means for local authors and readers with last year's winner, Ida Linehan Young.
Woman in a red swimsuit white polka-dots, and a blue bathing cap. Back to the camera, standing on a beach, looking out to the water.
The Good Women of Safe Harbour by Bobbi French. (Harper Avenue)

The Good Women of Safe Harbour by Bobbi French, published by Harper Avenue

Synopsis: Frances Delaney is staring down the last days of her life. Looking back over her 58 years with wit and no small amount of regret, she sees not the life she wanted but the one that happened. An idyllic childhood in the small Newfoundland fishing town of Safe Harbour was darkened by the loss of her father at sea, an unwanted pregnancy and a betrayal by her closest friend, Annie Malone. Frances and Annie were inseparable, and the rupture rocked Frances to the core. In the aftermath, she fled to St. John's and a solitary life nothing like what she and Annie had dreamed of as their grand escape. Now, with the help of her young, optimistic friend Edie, Frances begins a journey toward resolution and back to Annie and Safe Harbour. With these good women in her corner, Frances can at last chart her course to living on her own terms, right to the very end.

A poster for NL Reads 2023 competition. Feature four of the competing books in a row on a red backgroup. It says: "2023 NL Reads: 4 Books - 4 Opinions - 1 Winner. Find out more at your local Public Library or

Here are the 2023 contenders:

Urchin by Kate Story, published by Running the Goat Books and Broadsides

Synopsis: They say Dor's family is cursed. The house her great-great grandfather built on the south side of St. John's has never been at peace; the old people think it lies on a fairy path. Ever since electricity came to the island, things have worsened, and experiments in the brand-new technology of radio put her family in real peril. In December 1901, Marconi arrives in Newfoundland with a secret mission: to receive the first wireless transatlantic radio signal. Disguised as a boy, Dor joins his team. Then the Little Strangers kidnap her mother. Must Dor sabotage Marconi's experiments to save her?

Book cover of a booked titled URCHIN - it's a stylized playing card - looks like the Queen of spades. Top image on the card is a woman in a military-styled hat and lower image on the card is a woman with long hair. The title Urchin is printed in gold.
Urchin by Kate Story. (Running the Goat Books and Broadsides)

The Wards by Terry Doyle, published by Breakwater Books

Synopsis: The Wards are a working-class Newfoundland family on the cusp of upheaval. The children are becoming adults, the adults are growing old, and the new dog was probably stolen. When a sudden illness forces the Wards together, can they finally learn to be close-knit?

This unsettling and at times hilarious novel explores the instability of nuclear families and the depths of dysfunction. Family is family — you don't get to choose.

Cover of the book, titled The Wards. It's a photo of an open highway at night. The Wards title is in white on black. The road is in grey.
The Wards by Terry Doyle. (Breakwater Books)

The Love Olympics by Claire Wilkshire, published by Breakwater Books

Synopsis: Characters weave their way in and out of The Love Olympics, a collection of short fiction set in St. John's. The book is about various forms of love — the ways love grips us, shakes us, releases or envelops us. The stories are smart, witty, funny, warm and surprising; they capture the preoccupations of characters from different generations who are closely or only tangentially connected to one another. This collection explores people's aspirations, fears and vulnerabilities; their generosity and desire for connection; their willingness to see past flaws and appreciate other human beings in all their complexity.

Olympic rings, in green, gold, pink and light blue on the back ground of dark blue. It's a book cover for the book The Love Olympics, which appears in a red circle in white font.
The Love Olympics by Claire Wilkshire. (Breakwater Books)