Shelley Thompson in conversation with Ronnie Ali for her new book Roar published by Nimbus/Vagrant
…you may recognize Shelley from her role as Barb Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, and lately from Sullivan’s Crossing….
Roar tells the story of a young trans woman returning home after a family member’s death. When she shows up, she shows herself to her family for the first time.
The MacInnes family is grieving. The loss of Miranda has devastated her husband, John Andrew, her eldest daughter, Tammy, and her youngest child, Dawn. Not Donnie anymore but Dawn, like sunrise, who transitioned while her mother received cancer treatment — without the rest of the family knowing. Now, when Dawn leaves Halifax for rural Nova Scotia to attend her mother’s funeral, she knows she’ll be meeting her sister and father for the first time as herself.
With Dawn’s revelation, John Andrew and Tammy find themselves grieving for the son and brother they once knew, while Tammy’s fiancé, Byron, becomes an unexpected ally. Between the complicated reaction from her family, unwanted attention from local bigots, and whispers from curious neighbours, Dawn wonders if she can ever really come home.
A work of fierce allyship, of enduring love, and of gentle hope, ROAR follows a family through grief and estrangement as they become catalysts for change in their rural community. Told from multiple points of view, with confidence and tenderness, actor and screenwriter Shelley Thompson’s debut novel is profoundly authentic, drawing on her own experience as the mother of a trans child and a fierce activist for the trans community.