Author Reading with Michael Pond and Judy McFarlane at the North Vancouver City Library

Event Details

North Vancouver City Library

Please join the North Vancouver City Library for a reading with Michael Pond, author of the BC Bestseller, The Couch of Willingness: An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and A Broken Recovery System, and Judy MacFarlane, author of Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome.

After two decades of helping clients battle addiction, Pond, a successful therapist, succumbed to one himself. He lost his practice, his home, and his family to alcoholism, ending up destitute in an unlicensed, rundown recovery home rife with systemic abuse. Pond’s harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care, and finally, prison. His riveting riches to rags to riches story crackles with raw energy, black humour and insight as he plunges readers into a world few will ever have the misfortune to experience. Pond co-wrote The Couch of Willingness with his partner, Maureen Palmer, documentary filmmaker with Bountiful Films and former CBC journalist and producer, who will accompany him on Sept. 17th.

Joining Pond and Palmer is Judy McFarlane, the author of Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome, which tells the story of the journey McFarlane has taken with a young woman with Down Syndrome who shared McFarlane’s dream of becoming a writer. It relates the often dark history of Down syndrome, something the Canadian Down Syndrome Society maintains is “not a birth defect or illness” but “a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been part of the human condition.” It also tells a universal story of moving from a deep fear of the ‘other,’ to seeing the world through the eyes of the ‘other’, to Judy truly understanding when Grace says, “my real truth is too scary. I like to hide my real truth.”

Event is free. For more information, and to register, visit our website at



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