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First novel therapy for Whistler writer

Adelberg’s historical novel covers three generations of his family



Whistler resident David Adelberg says he "never fancied myself as a writer," but his first novel was published in June.

The book is called A Change in Presence. A historical fiction novel, it chronicles 125 years – three generations – of Adelberg’s family.

Adelberg, who has lived in Whistler for eight years, said he started the book as therapy. "I kept going in and out of depression like underwear," he describes.

In the process of going through therapy and working out the things that had been bothering him for years, Adelberg said, he discovered a belief. "It came to me one day in Whistler after I’d suffered through a four or five year depression, that everything that was beautiful in the world can only be experienced – felt, seen, or touched – in the present." He added, "…all these experiences led up to writing the book."

Published by PublishAmerica , A Change in Presence sprung from that belief. Adelberg hopes the one thing readers will get out of his novel is hope.

"The protagonist is my grandfather," explains Adelberg. "My grandfather was a Boer Dutch settler and a guerilla warrior in the Boer War in South Africa. So I wrote a fictional story about what might have happened when he came to Canada and escaped South Africa and met my grandmother who also had escaped Russia – there’s a story behind that as well – around the turn of the century. They travelled by covered wagon to the Peace River Country and settled on a 400-acre farm that was given to them through the Homestead Act.

"It’s a story from that point on," continued Adelberg, "about their children and their grandchild who fulfill an ancient prophesy of a scroll written by Jesus 2000 years ago that was discovered in the West Bank of Israel. The hero, the grandson, becomes the person who is called the Giver who fulfills the prophesy and brings peace to Arabs and Jews in the days leading up to the 1967 war.

"It’s a story about what might have happened if there was another messiah. One who didn’t have any magic powers or claim to be anything, other than that which he called ‘the gift’ – which was written about in the prophesy – and the gift was to get people to realize that everything beautiful can only be experienced right now."

Adelberg, who is 59, says he has more books in the works. He has already begun work on a sequel to A Change in Presence and he also has a non-fiction book coming out called Selling Life , which is based on the same belief that caused him to write his first novel.

As for A Change in Presence , when asked to describe the book Adelberg answered, "I think for the reader it’s a 125-year epic in 200 pages. So it’s a quick ride through a lot of adventure, sex, religion, and politics. There’s kidnappings and shootings and betrayal and all sorts of things. I write in such a way because I’ve never been fond of reading books for the sake of reading them. I like the stories. So I write stories."

Adelberg will be doing a book signing at Armchair Books on Saturday, Sept. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m.

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