What's in a Name Revised Edition

Garie McIntosh

Storytelling-communicator and grammar enthusiast

His first novel

What’s in a Name is a fictional tale about a woman who has been renamed by her dying mother. She accepts that name, but then she goes silent about its significance. Now an adult, a married woman, she finds herself in a battle to unsilence herself.


CHRISTINE WATERS had stood in a doorway and witnessed something life-altering. When her husband had stood in their kitchen doorway, she knew what that meant.

He seemed indifferent to not only the smells but also her exposed back. She became concerned about the payoff that would be for every stir and step of what she was cooking. The payoff was the list of indulgences that had become an expectation and that she alone chose from afterwards. She wasn’t so sure of such latitude this time around, this meal. That’d be a first.

His gaze was steadfast, and his usual calm coolness seemed to be vying for control.

Then there had been only four words. Not only did she hear them, but she also did believe that she knew what he would follow them up with, if she allowed him. So she proceeded to solve what she thought was not so much a mystery as an obscurity in about as few seconds as the number of words that she then spoke.

—An excerpt from the prologue

Who is Christine Waters? What might her compromise be?

Book back cover

After having been renamed by her dying mother at twelve years old, Christine accepts her new name―Lena. But that name holds a painful, terrible secret. Her acceptance of it comes with guilt and the reminder of her shame and violation. Christine has remained silent about the events that precipitated her renaming and the real meaning of "Lean-a." Now thirty-three years old, she is compelled to confront her past because her marriage is threatened by her and her husband's mutual silence.

But Christine's silence is as deep as the meaning of her name. The women around her have also been silent, so she travels to Jamaica to address the cause of her own silence. By the end of her journey to Jamaica, Christine embodies the question that the narrative contemplates in the end: what might a woman's compromise be if she should face the perpetrator of the crimes against her that Christine herself has experienced?

Book description

The day turns freezing and dark, a heinous crime occurs, and abandonment ensues on the last day of school for a twelve-year-old girl named Christine in 1994 in Toronto, Canada. She has formed a compromise through her new name, Lena, to survive these events. Twenty-one years later, she finally realizes that her silence about the meaning of her name, which her mother gave to her on her death bed threatens her survival. Accompanied by her husband, she takes the trip of her life to a paradisaical landscape, Jamaica, where she meets a woman who knows a thing or two about compromising.

Christine discovers that both a woman's compromise and her retraction of that compromise can be not only courageous but also dazzlingly infelicitous. That infelicity is found in the name of a seventy-four-year-old Jamaican woman who now calls herself Dell-Dell.

About the author

Garie was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada in 1990 when he was fourteen years old. In high school, he knew he wanted to become a writer. Now he considers himself a storytelling-communicator and a grammar enthusiast. He takes an academic approach to English to gain the technical know-how to develop and write literary fiction and perform different types of editing. His writing experience and studies have also led him to create McIntoshLinguistics, an educational services company that aims to formalize an approach to English literary editing through a process-method.

Garie started out in administration in the fields of healthcare, project management, and database development. Writing fictional narrative and editing has now been his passion for the last four years. How he likes to put it is that in his world storytelling is analogous to communication. His goal and purpose are to write stories with strong, authentic characters that are defined by strong writing and themes and thereby reinforce the power of communication.

In December 2014, he had an experience that has since turned out to be the secret of his not only having found but also living his life’s purpose. He calls that experience the power of sisu. To find out more about sisu, click on the link below to go to his website.

Garie's hope is that What’s in a Name will compel readers to stop and reflect on their own names and the meaning of, or what’s behind, them.

Created By
Garie McIntosh