Category: Canadian 5 out of 5s

Suzanne Simard’s—Finding the mother tree

Suzanne Simard’s—Finding the mother tree

Suzanne’s journey begins the day her father and uncle dig a hole over a metre deep into the ground and she becomes fascinated by the layers in the soil. Growing up in the interior of British Columbia amongst forests, Simard went into forestry, but soon became disenchanted with the practice of cutting down every tree, spraying chemicals over destroyed sites, and replanting one variety of tree. She joined the B.C. forestry sector where she conducted experiments that revealed that government policies were not only destroying the environment, but their practices did not produce greater yields. Simard’s long struggle against entrenched archaic views and misogynistic mentality eventually lead to major findings with change beginning to take place, but at what personal cost?

Heather Marshall’s—Looking for Jane *****

Heather Marshall’s—Looking for Jane *****

When Angela discovers an undelivered letter hidden in one of the antiques in the Toronto shop where she works, she is determined to find Nancy—the person who should have received this confession ten years earlier. Nancy was adopted, but from the letter it appears she never knew.

While the characters are fictional, events in the novel relating to the Canadian Government’s earlier policies on abortion and the church’s institutional treatment of unmarried mothers is based on historical fact. Despite a little unnecessary detail throughout the book, this is still a compelling and eye-opening read that I couldn’t put down.

Joan Clark’s — An audience of chairs *****

Joan Clark’s — An audience of chairs *****

Moranna lives in a Cape Bretton farmhouse in a small village. She is often alone when her partner, Bun is away working on the ferries between islands. Although she is considered mad by the locals, she decides to attend her estranged daughter’s impending wedding in Halifax when she learns the news. But will she be welcomed?

Shyam Selvadaurai’s—Mansions of the moon *****

Shyam Selvadaurai’s—Mansions of the moon *****

Yasodhara marries Sidhartha and hopes for a union like her parents, loving and caring, along with the comforts after she moves to her father-in-law’s palace. But Sidhartha’s father, the Raja, has always despised his son because he blames him for the loss of his beloved wife when she gave birth to Sidhartha. Full of hatred, he posts his son as governor to a remote northern village where they are given a small hut, where there is no servant, and Yasodhara must tend to a rice paddy field and vegetable garden, so they have food for the winter. But while Yasodhara soon finds joy in these tasks among the camaraderie of the village women, Sidhartha becomes moody and withdrawn and his interest in the philosophy of the ascetics deepens.

This is a story of The Buddha’s wife and how she tried to hang on to her marriage until her husband finally deserted her and their only son to follow what he termed, the middle path. I have read all of Selvadaurai’s novels and this is by far his best.