Banner for Provenance Unknown book showing author photo, book cover, website, and that the book is now available.

An archivist without a past of her own doesn’t expect her profession to get personal.

Thirty-year old single mom Michele Norman has finally found her dream job at the city archives. But while she does a deep dive into every inquiry that comes in, there’s one past she won’t touch: her own. Besides, with a son starting kindergarten, a stack of unpaid bills, and the possibility of her work hours being cut back, she has enough to worry about. But when she discovers a forgotten French diary in the vault, it sends her on a journey from the west coast of Canada all the way to Paris, France. Will Michele be distracted by the intriguing and maddening Sébastien? Or will she finally find answers to the family questions she has never been ready to ask?

The release date for Sonia’s debut novel, Provenance Unknown, was March 28, 2023. Now available! Published by Sands Press.

The Roundhouse Cafe in Saanich (Greater Victoria, British Columbia) hosted the first book launch celebration on April 2, 2023—right next to Rutledge Park, one of the key locations in the book! Sonia is available for events; please reach out using the Contact page.

Sonia Nicholson at Roundhouse book launch event.

Praise for Provenance Unknown

… The author has written a love story wrapped in a love story—that of Michele and Sébastien, as well as her grandparents. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the diary, telling about her grandparents’ romance. It is an interesting juxtaposition of the present and the World War II era. Some readers may find it difficult to sympathize with Michele early on. She makes decisions like an impulsive teenager. As the story unfolds, however, the author deftly portrays a young woman struggling to get her life on track who undergoes a transformation through learning about those who came before her. She emerges with a more mature outlook. This romance novel should appeal to fans of the genre, as well as anyone who has experienced and understands the excitement of researching their family history.

Review by Glenda Vosburgh
Delightful story about a young single mom finding her way in the world and discoverying her roots. It shows how coincidences can change the course of your life.
This book has inspired me to research my own genealogy and has opened my eyes to the job of an archivist. If you have interest in your discovering your own family background, this book is a must read.
Goodreads review

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great debut novel!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 15, 2023
Verified Purchase
Nicholson's book features a protagonist you root for, mystery steeped in history, unexpected (but entirely satisfying) twists, and such vivid descriptions of Victoria and Paris that you'll be craving nanaimo bars and croissants - or booking flights. Thoroughly enjoyed this read, and can't wait for the next one!
Amazon review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Novel archivists will enjoy!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 12, 2023
Verified Purchase
This story will be enjoyed by archivists and researchers everywhere who regularly use Archives. Sonia Nicholson has woven an intriguing story around her protagonist who works in an Archives and discovers a diary she feels drawn to - so much so that it takes her to Paris to right a wrong for a family. In the process she discovers her own past. Nicholson's research is admirable and Provenance Unknown - her debut Novel - is excellent.
Amazon review

Playlist for Provenance Unknown (YouTube)

Cover for Provenance Unknown. It is a painting showing the Eiffel Tower from a balcony. There are many flowers.

A Year of Summer

In the meantime, Sonia is working on a second novel titled A Year of Summer. Julia Summers, an aspiring travel writer with social anxiety, reluctantly takes a job in her hometown in British Columbia’s southern interior. But when the position turns out to be more than advertised—thrusting her into the festival and fair circuit—she must decide whether to head for the hills or stick it out in the struggling desert village she’d left in the rear view.

Both novels explore themes of identity, family, and place.

Subscribe below to receive the latest news on progress and release dates!

%d bloggers like this: