Former Ottawa radio personality debut novel “Summer at Pine Lake”
Chances are that if you live in Ottawa, you’ve either heard or bumped into Alyssa Delle Palme. The former radio host and on-air sports and entertainment commentator is also an avid outdoors enthusiast who loves to spend quality family time hiking the many trails in the Ottawa region.
Eight years ago, Delle Palme took her love of nature one step further when she launched Wild Roots Nature and Forest School. With a variety of programs on offer, the school focuses on providing children and adults with high-quality outdoor experiences to get everyone out into the woods and in tune with nature.
Delle Palme is a Forest Therapy guide, and her Forest Bathing sessions — not a literal dip into forest bog — are walks designed to submerge oneself in the wonders of nature to clear the mind and destress while focusing on the flora and fauna all around. Wild Roots also has programs that focus on inclusivity in nature, yoga in nature, and guide certification.
When not helping people get back to nature and recalibrate, Delle Palme loves to write about the benefits of nature. In 2022, her first short story, Just Rosie June, Wild and Free, was included in the children’s book When I am Among the Trees.
Now, her debut novel, Summer at Pine Lake, is set to hit the bookstore shelves in mid-September, just as the seasons are about to change. Delle Palme’s book is the perfect autumn read for teens to dive into while thoughts of their own summer adventures are still fresh in their minds.
Summer at Pine Lake is a coming-of-age story that focuses on the hallmarks of youth: grief, first love, nostalgia, and meaningful friendship. The story follows Sarah, a recent high school graduate and aspiring writer, grieving her dear grandmother’s death. Sarah travels to the family cottage on Pine Lake, where she spent many happy childhood summers, nestled among the pine trees.
Tormented by a long-term crush on a boy from a neighbouring cottage, Sarah decides instead that, this summer, she will pursue a handsome Swiss exchange student. But when a scandalous family secret is uncovered, Sarah falls into a pit of despair, causing her to withdraw from everyone she knows. To find a path to healing and loving again, Sarah realizes she must hold dear the values she learned from her beloved grandmother.
Photo: Courtesy Alyssa Delle Palme