The Next Chapter

Beatrice MacNeil's The Girl He Left Behind is a story of heartbreak and betrayal set in Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotian writer spoke with Shelagh Rogers about writing her latest novel.
Beatrice MacNeil is the author of novel The Girl He Left Behind. (Katheryn Gordon, HarperAvenue)

Beatrice MacNeil's The Girl He Left Behind is the story of Willow Alexander, a Nova Scotian woman left at the altar by her high school sweetheart, Graham Currie.

The novel is all about the fallout from that fateful night. It's a tale of secrets, death and moving past heartbreak.

MacNeil stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about The Girl He Left Behind.

Spirits abound

"Hearing ghost stories: they would terrify you. But then, once you got over being afraid, you'd ask to hear them again.

"I love ghost stories. They're enchanting and they're always full of life — even though you believe the dead are coming back."

The will of Willow

"Willow would have been very lonely. There's an emptiness all around her. I think she drew strength from this magnificent mountain. Nature can be very calming. Willow might have gotten her strength from the mother's side of the family that she never knew. 

I love ghost stories. They're enchanting and they're always full of life — even though you believe the dead are coming back.

"At one point, her father even wonders who she might take after. He's very wise, very quiet. The mother is naive, but quite innocent and very kind. 

"I had to make Willow that way because she was going to face too many storms."

Beatrice MacNeil's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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