Mr. MacIntyre is a Canadian journalist, broadcaster and novelist who has won numerous awards for his writing and journalistic excellence. “The Long Stretch”, a fiction, written in 1999 is the first in his Cape Breton Trilogy.
The tale is a fine and haunting story told by an alcoholic who is occupying his time by digging into closely kept family secrets that have created many unsubstantiated rumours. The story centers on John and his first cousin, Sextus Gillis, who share the same family history and bear the burden of the same family secrets. 13 years after an estrangement they come together and in a drunken state they reminisce the past. Analysing flashback after flashback they gradually reveal the ghosts of the past to make sense of all the information and arrive at a conclusion they can live with. The encounter eventually clears the air between the two of them.
“The Long Stretch” brings everything alive in a story with a dialogue driven encounter. The prose conveys beautifully the language and landscape of Cape Breton, an island rich in history and mired with tradition where the Gaelic language and customs are kept alive in fawn respect of their heritage.
In Mr. Macintyre words it is evident he has a deep and loving passion for the people and the area.