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The Sum of One Man's Pleasure

by (author) Danial Neil

NeWest Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Author lives in British Columbia , Set in British Columbia , LGBTQ2S characters

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This publication meets the EPUB Accessibility requirements and it also meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 Level AA). It is screen-reader friendly and is accessible to persons with disabilities. A simple book with images, list items and simple formatting, which are defined with accessible structural markup. This book contains various accessibility features such as alternative text for images, table of content, Structural Navigation and semantic structure. Blank pages

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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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1963 – Finn Kenny has fled life in Ottawa after being implicated in an RCMP purge of suspected Communist sympathisers and homosexuals. He ends up on Vancouver Island working as a groundskeeper. Theodore Spencer, owner of Spencerwood Industries, is Finn’s saviour, having offered him a job and a home at Finn's lowest moment. When Spencer dies unexpectedly, Finn’s life is turned upside down once again as Lady Katherine, Spencer's widow, ascends to power.


Thrown together by grief and suspicion, Finn and Lady Spencer must overcome their mutual dislike to keep Spencerwood Industries solvent. With the help of Percival and Birdie Bishop, the Spencerwood estate's caretakers, they discover that everyone holds secrets at the core of themselves.


In his searching sixth novel, Danial Neil examines the stories we make of our own lives, the versions of ourselves we show to those closest to us, and the ways we find common ground in this world.

About the author

Danial Neil was born in New Westminster, British Columbia and grew up in North Delta. He began writing in his teens, journaling and writing poetry. He made a decision to be a writer in 1986 and took his first creative writing course in Langley with Alive magazine editor, Rhody Lake. While working for the City of Delta, he authored the motto, "Ours to Preserve by Hand and Heart" for the city's coat of arms in 1988. Danial worked steadily at his craft. His short story "Grace" was published in the 2003 Federation of BC Writers anthology edited by Susan Musgrave. He went on to participate in the Write Stretch Program with the Federation of BC Writers teaching free verse poetry to school children. As well participant in Word on the Street Vancouver. He won the Poetry Prize at the Surrey International Writers' Conference four times, and went on to study Creative Writing at UBC. His first published novel was The Killing Jars in 2006, and then Flight of the Dragonfly in 2009, my June in 2014, and The Trees of Calan Gray in 2015. Dominion of Mercy is his fifth published novel. He has completed twenty novels since beginning his writing journey. His prose has been called hauntingly beautiful and lyrical. His poetry and fiction articulate a close relationship with the land, its felt presence in his narrative and vision. His characters arrive like guests and leave an edible presence in a reader's experience. Danial lives in Oliver the South Okanagan of British Columbia.

Danial Neil's profile page

Excerpt: The Sum of One Man's Pleasure (by (author) Danial Neil)



They told me that they had been watching me. An odd thing to say to an employee of the federal government of Canada. I thought, perhaps, it was part of a performance review. It was not unheard of in Ottawa in 1958. But there were rumours, chilling accounts of similar revelations. I was working on foreign trade, lumber exports to the United States, and overseas. I was highly educated with a degree in Forest Management and Silviculture. I was told that two men were waiting to see me in the lobby of our office block. They didn’t say who or why, but that it was a serious matter and that I should attend at once, and that there was nothing to fear. Perhaps, I thought, it was one of the Americans that I had met with over softwood lumber. Meetings had been going on all week. Or, perhaps, it was the businessman from B.C., who was looking for new markets, new opportunities. I got on quite well with him. But I was afraid. It was a feeling I had. There was something malicious on the wind that was rushing down the city streets. And it had the face of the trusted.