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One Book One Community

Celebrating its 17th year, the One Book, One Community of Waterloo Region has announced its 2018 reading selection. All of Waterloo Region will be on the same page reading ...


Broken Promise, by Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise
Linwood Barclay

About the Book

After the death of his wife, and loss of his job, David Harwood and his son are forced to move back in with his parents in Promise Falls, New York. With so much falling to pieces in his own life, David is devastated to hear his cousin Marla has also faced tragedy - a miscarriage the year before.

Visiting Marla, David is shocked to discover she has a baby. But something is clearly amiss - she claims the baby was given to her by an ‘angel’. Even more distressing, the mother of the baby is found murdered. David vows to find out the truth about what happened, and slowly discovers that the murder is only the beginning of the devastating events befalling Promise Falls.

About the Author

Linwood Barclay is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including No Time for Goodbye, Trust Your Eyes  and, most recently, A Noise Downstairs. He has also written two novels for children and a number of screenplays. Three of his novels comprise the epic Promise Falls trilogy: Broken Promise, Far From True, and The Twenty-Three.

After spending his formative years helping run a cottage resort and trailer park after his father died when he was 16, Barclay got his first newspaper job at the Peterborough Examiner, a small Ontario daily. In 1981, he joined the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. He held such positions as assistant city editor, chief copy editor, news editor, and Life section editor, before becoming the paper’s humour columnist in 1993. He was one of the paper’s most popular columnists before retiring from the position in 2008 to work exclusively on books.

Barclay was born in the United States but moved to Canada just before turning four years old when his father, a commercial artist whose illustrations of cars appeared in Life, Look and Saturday Evening Post (before photography took over), accepted a position with an advertising agency north of the border. Barclay, who graduated with an English literature degree from Trent University, was fortunate to have some very fine mentors; in particular, the celebrated Canadian author Margaret Laurence, whom Linwood first met when she served as writer-in-residence at Trent, and Kenneth Millar, who, under the name Ross Macdonald, wrote the acclaimed series of mystery novels featuring detective Lew Archer. It was at Trent that he met Neetha, the woman who would become his wife. They have two grown children, Spencer and Paige.

Author Website:

Selected Awards

Linwood Barclay's memoir of growing up in cottage country, Last Resort, was published in 2000 to critical acclaim and shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

Two of his mysteries, Lone Wolf and No Time for Goodbye, have been nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for best novel. No Time for Goodbye has also been shortlisted for a Barry Award and nominated for best novel by the International Thriller Writers.

In 2009, Barclay was named winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, Too Close to Home.

Author Interviews

Available Formats

This year's reading selection is available in several formats.

Reserve your copy today!


Title Readalikes

About the One Book, One Community Program

One Book, One Community (OBOC) was created to promote reading by adults, and to build new connections in the community through the shared experience of reading.

In 2002, when One Book, One Community was launched, organizers expected that 1% of the Region’s population would read Alistair McLeod’s No Great Mischief. Instead of the expected 4000 readers, more than 6800 readers were counted and an additional 3000 people attended author events.

By tracking sales, library circulations, web hits and event attendance, the committee has recorded that more than 100,000 people in Waterloo Region have participated in the program. Interest in the reading program has continued over the previous nine years with selections continuing to generate interest in libraries, bookstores, workplaces and book club gatherings.

Organized by library staff, booksellers, city staff and volunteers, the program requires a year round commitment. After the book title is announced, individuals, book clubs, organizations, employers – everyone – is invited to take up the challenge of the One Book, One Community initiative and organize their own way of "getting on the same page."

Author events will take place around the region, including an author visit to Kitchener Public Library. Watch our website or that of the Waterloo Region Record for author event dates and notices of community events as they develop. You may also check out the One Book, One Community website at

Keep up with all the latest news by following @oboc_kw on Twitter. 

Readers and event participants will be counted again this year, so be sure to participate and to let the community know how you got involved.


Previous Selections

Wayne Grady
Amanda Lindhout
Emily St. John Mandel
Charlotte Gray
Richard Wagamese
Louise Penny
Terry Fallis
Lawrence Hill
Alisa Smith & J.B....
Elizabeth Ruth
Joseph Boyden
Robert J. Sawyer
Nino Ricci
Jane Urquhart
Alistair MacLeod