A Bright and Steady Flame

The Story of an Enduring Friendship

By Luanne Armstrong

Categories: Memoir
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781987915822, 160 pages, October 2018

Told with subtlety, humour, and heart, this delightful memoir marries adversity, the passage of time, and what it feels like to have a friend throughout it all.


In 1974, after escaping an abusive marriage, Luanne Armstrong struggled with poverty and caring for four small children. During this time, the author and Sam Moore began their friendship; they were both young single parents in crisis, and needed to change their lives. They supported each other through the child-rearing years, careers and environmental, peace and feminist work. Their friendship endured and strengthened during the colourful, sometimes strange, but also community-altering movements that rocked the seventies and eighties throughout BC: back-to-the-landers, draft dodgers, hippies, drugs and political movements for peace, feminism and equality.


Now in their later years, they are again both facing an identity crisis, and, again, they do so together, their long friendship a source of immense strength and comfort. This book delves into the hardships of aging, grief and pain, and how friendships can sustain all of us.


A Bright and Steady Flame gives insight into how deep and powerful a friendship can be. Armstrong's new book speaks to our compelling human need and ability to build long-lasting community. This is a love story that celebrates, for all people, the solace that true friendship can provide.


"From the Kootenays to the coast and back again, from poverty and single parenthood to writing and activism, love and pain, A Bright and Steady Flame is a love letter to a fifty-year friendship and a memoir that offers extraordinary insights into aging, love, loss and joy.''

—Jane Hamilton Silcott, co-editor of Love Me True and author of Everything Rustles


"In A Bright and Steady Flame, we have been given a gift that is at once an easy read and a work of depth, intellect, compassion and razor-sharp observation. It is a book that makes me want to go into my library and re-read some of Armstrong’s earlier works, if for no other reason than the quality of writing..."

—Lorne Eckersley, Creston Valley Advance

“This book may well change your worldview about aging. It will certainly encourage you to live as creatively as you can, particularly as you grow older. It is a book about navigating personal annihilation, about being ground into ashes and almost disappearing from life, only to return to the world with a poetic and riveting story that will light a fire in readers’ hearts.”

—Lee Reid, M. Ed, The Ormsby Review