Valerie Mills-Milde is the author of After Drowning (Inanna, 2016) – winner of the Ippy Silver Medal for Contemporary Fiction – The Land's Long Reach (Inanna, 2018), and The Current Between (AOS, 2023). Her short stories have appeared in numerous Canadian literary journals, and a collection of these, Not the Talking Kind, was a semi-finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award.
Valerie is a clinical social worker who lives in London, Ontario with her husband Michael, her dog Percy, and her cat Basil.
"A historical fiction of the highest calibre."
- James M. Fisher, The Miramichi Reader
On a bright November day in 1913, a young deckman named Harry Darling joins The James Carruthers, a large cargo carrier leaving Port William and bound for Midland on her last cargo run of the season. Harry’s estranged father, Connor Darling, is onshore, unaware of Harry’s whereabouts and consumed with staving off the end of his failing mink farm. When a cyclonic weather event descends over the entire region, Harry and Connor reconsider perceptions of past transgressions, and with the help of a telegraph operator named Flo, each navigates the shoals of loss and betrayal, and searches for an idea of home.
Told from the perspectives of Harry, Connor, and Flo, The Current Between is a terrifying fictional account of those caught in the Great Storm of 1913, the most devastating marine disaster in the history of the Great Lakes.
"This is historical fiction at its best—alive to the complexities of people and events, and compulsively readable."
– Aaron Schneider, founding editor at The /tƐmz/ Review
“A truly superb tale told by a masterful storyteller, The Current Between is a message in a bottle, vividly capturing a remnant of the complex and heartbreaking history that haunts Lake Huron’s shores. "
– Tom Cull, former Poet Laureate of London, Ontario
"Mills-Milde has masterfully woven a fascinating story that pulls the reader along from beginning to end like a strong fast moving current."
– David Yates, historian
The Current Between
While visiting her hometown on the shores of Lake Erie, Penelope Beau and her four-year-old daughter witness a downing. The tragedy opens old traumas for Pen, and with the appearance of Tom Valentine, a member of the Bandido biker gang about to orchestrate an historic massacre, Pen navigates moral complexities, reconciliation and forgiveness.
2017 Silver Ippy winner.
It is The War to End All Wars, and Ena Connelly is newly married and living on an Ontario farm. When her husband leaves to serve, Ena shows extraordinary self-reliance to protect what she most cherishes. Through the lens of complex relationships, and the meticulous detail of Ena's daily life, we see the emotional landscape of persistent, courageous women, watching the violence of war in Europe (World War I) and domestic violence closer to home.
Finalist, Miramichi Reader Very Best Award.