I’m Not What I Seem: The Many Stories of Rita MacNeil’s Life

A bestseller in the Maritime provinces and shortlisted for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award from the Atlantic Book Awards.

Rhindress skillfully blends his personal friendship with Rita MacNeil with extensive research to create a powerful and moving portrait of a complex woman who overcame many daunting obstacles to become one of the East Coast’s greatest singer-songwriters and a trailblazer for the generation of artists who have followed.” – Atlantic Book Awards

From the Publisher:

Rita MacNeil has long been recognized as one of the East Coast’s great singer-songwriters. As a young girl with the dream of becoming a singer, she overcame a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieved success by believing in herself and refusing to give up. A trailblazer, Rita played an integral role in the women’s movement in Canada and forged a path that was unique to her, paving the way for future generations of east coast musicians.

Charlie Rhindress first came to know Rita as he collaborated with her on his play Flying on Her Own, incorporating more than twenty of her songs into a script that told the story of her life. For this new biography, Rhindress did extensive research and interviewed many of the people who worked with her and knew her best. The story of a strong, sensitive, complex woman emerged and the result is a powerful and moving portrait of a unique woman and important artist of her times.

REVIEWS

“CAPE BRETON’S GREAT SINGER-SONGWRITER comes alive for fans, for women who can identify with her struggles, and for all Canadians. Rita MacNeil overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieved success by believing in herself and refusing to give up. A trailblazer, she played an integral role in the women’s movement in Canada, and paved the way for other East Coast musicians.” – Cape Breton Books

“While Rita told her own story, Rhindress delves a bit deeper, giving us greater detail on the difficulties in her earlier life and her relationships….Even for those who knew Rita well, there are still some surprises…I found it a great read as I learned more about the sadness and the joy that was Rita’s life.” – Cape Breton Post

“Charlie Rhindress takes these facts and many more about MacNeil’s life and fleshes out the stories beneath them. Rhindress is well versed in those stories.” – Atlantic Books Today

“An eloquent, moving and revealing biography of one of Canada’s greatest songwriters…”  – canadashistory.ca

A trailer I made for the book:

WHERE TO GET THE BOOK

Online: Chapters or Formac. Formac also has an EPUB edition while the Kindle edition of the book is available from Amazon.

Also available at independent bookstores and select Chapters, Indigo and Coles stores.

For a signed copy please email me at charlierhindress[at]hotmail[dot]com I will ship the softcover edition of the book anywhere in Canada for $30.