Leslie Vryenhoek has worked as a professional communicator in international development, advanced education, emergency response, and the arts. She travels extensively to gather stories about the lives of poor working women, which have been published worldwide. Her 2015 novel Ledger of the Open Hand was shortlisted for Newfoundland and Labrador’s prestigious Winterset Award and longlisted for the international Dublin Literary Award. She lives in St. John’s.
Ledger of the Open Hand looks at the intimate power of money and emotional debt through the eyes of a woman trying to grab hold of her own life. Beholden to a shrewd friend and burdened by family obligations and guilt, Meriel-Claire (MC) finally stumbles into what she’s been missing. She falls in love and finds her calling as a debt counsellor in the midst of a national financial crisis. But balancing the books for strangers is easier than reconciling her own complicated relationships. Regrets and deficits accumulate until MC must decide what she owes to those she loves. With humour and insight, Ledger explores giving, taking, and our tendency to treat love as a balance sheet.