CF Families

Military Spouse Launches Book in BC

Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in the small town of Nackawic, New Brunswick. She flirted with the idea of writing during her high school days as one of the school correspondents to the Daily Gleaner, Fredericton’s paper, and admits to writing secret, morose teenage poetry alone in her bedroom. She even considered journalism as a career, but canned that idea to pursue physiotherapy. Strapped for a way to cover the expenses of year-round schooling, she signed up for the ROTP program, did basic training and had her Physiotherapy degree at Dalhousie University paid for by the Canadian Armed Forces. She worked several years as a Physiotherapy Officer in both Ottawa and Trenton before meeting her husband, Tom, an Air Force pilot.

Fast-forward about eight years, three postings and three kids later, and she landed in Greenwood, in a PMQ. Her youngest of three was just turning two, she and Tom were building a house and it was time to get back to physiotherapy. One problem: with all of the time off for babies and postings and the like, the NS College wouldn’t license her unless she wrote the national board exams. People just out of university fail these exams all of the time. For her it was a terrifying prospect. But even more frightening was the prospect of losing all she had worked for and having to start from scratch. She studied like heck, wrote the exams and passed, but even more importantly, she wrote down her fears―in a forty page fictional piece.

She didn’t know it then, but these pages were to become the first chapter of Dependent.

For years she slowly picked away at Dependent. A friend, also a military spouse, encouraged her to finish it. Her husband supported her as well. Dependent deals with many serious, emotionally charged military topics. After many years of work, she took a chance and sent it off to her agents. Mere weeks later it sold to Jolly Fish Press.

Dunne officially launched her novel at Chapters in downtown Victoria, BC July 29. Readers who picked up their signed copies are raving about it. The story is already making a ripple in the literary world as a heart-breaking tale of love lost and independence sacrificed in a military relationship. Dependent is purely fictional, but addresses issues ever-present in today’s service families, many very sensitive – marriage and family at a young age, long absences from spouse, post-traumatic stress, sexual harassment, and abuse of power of high-ranking officials.

“Dependent pulls on the reader’s heartstrings from the first sentence and keeps the intensity to the last page,” describes Kirk Cunningham, Head Publicist of Jolly Fish Press. “It’s a very raw and realistic view of life for the spouse, the unsung hero and the terrifying reality of what happens when commitment to duty over family takes the ultimate turn for the worst.”

Says Judy Devlin, wife of LGen (Ret’d) Peter Devlin, “… we received a copy of Brenda’s book Dependent a couple of weeks ago. I finished the book in 3 days and very much enjoyed reading it. It was captivating, with just enough suspense, and so much truth about military dependents, that it was an enjoyable read. I would find myself reading a passage and saying, that’s exactly how I have felt some days.”

For a full review of Dependent by Vicki L. Morrison please visit:

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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