On September 14, 2022, I will launch my latest historical novel Tea at the Empress. I am excited because it is my favourite book thus far. Because it takes place entirely in the twentieth century, I felt free to explore issues of women's rights through my character, Edith, a woman very much of her time, the 1920s.
I have chosen the recently completed Gorge Pavilion (https://www.esquimalt.ca/parks-recreation/esquimalt-gorge-park-pavilion) for this launch because of its historical link to an important setting in my novel -- the teahouse in the Japanese Gardens at the Gorge Park, then called BC Electric Gorge Park. It existed from 1909 until it was destroyed during the Second World War when people of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps.
Though I am disappointed that Esquimalt Council did not see fit to reproduce the original sampan floating tea room, the new Japanese-style pavilion is inspired by the original and will suit my purpose as a launching pad.
I hope you will be curious -- either to visit this beautiful building in its stunning setting, or to learn more about Edith and her relationship to this historic site.