Lib, an English nurse, arrives in an Irish village in the 1850s to keep watch over Anna so as to confirm that she doesn’t eat. The child’s fast is driving the faithful on pilgrimages to her house and Lib is suspicious.
This is not only a book about the politics of religion, but blind faith and Lib is determined to get to the bottom of why Anna fasts.
How did this author keep me engrossed in her tale when most of the story is set in Anna O’Donnell’s bedroom? It’s no wonder, this book is beautifully written as well as an intriguing tale.
With the world nearly at an end from global warming, First Nation people are hunted for their bone marrow. When the Recruiters discover Mitch and Frenchie’s hideout, Mitch sacrifices himself to allow his younger brother to flee. Fenchie escapes and heads into Northern Canada until he is found by a group of First Nation escapees trying to avoid capture and certain death. But can they avoid the new schools that remind the elders of residential schools where they will be slaughtered for their bone marrow?
A Man Booker prize winner, this novel traces Pi Patel’s journey from Pondicherry by sea. His father has brought the animals from the zoo they once owned in the coastal city, but not long into the journey, the boat sinks and Pi and a few of the animals are the only survivors.
While the movie of this book was beautifully filmed with a well chosen cast, it failed to capture the philosophical essence that made the book a memorable read.
Although Maggie’s mother is French Canadian, Maggie is sent to an English school by her English father. But in spite of her predominantly English up bringing, she falls in love with a poor French boy, Gabriel. At fifteen she discovers she’s pregnant. Pressured by 1950s Quebec’s stance on unwedded mothers and her beloved father’s threat of abandoning her if she keeps the child and has any more to do with Gabriel, Maggie’s child, Elodie is taken from her.
Goodman presents the English/French mistrust in Quebec to perfection and while at times the story is predictable, the experiences of little Elodie’s time in two institutions reflects the horror orphans of that era went through. A compelling read.
When Lavinia’s family lose their fortune, they leave England for a remote settlement on Canada’s east coast. Here they toil beside a handful of residents year after year. With little farmable soil, they depend on the sea for their meagre livelihood.
A well told tale of hardship and survival of early European settlers in Canada.
Grace leaves Ireland to settle in Canada, but family hardship forces her into employment. When she moves away from her family to work for Thomas Kinnear, her life unravels. She is accused, along with another of Kinnear’s workers, of murdering Kinnear and his mistress.
This novel is based on the notorious nineteenth century murder when many believed Grace was evil and possibly insane, while others thought her innocent. So which is it?
Margaret Atwood is a prolific Canadian writer. For me, her two best novels are Alias Grace and The Handmaid’s Tale.
After Laura arrives in a small Northern Ontario community, she falls in love with charismatic Jake. Unlike his older brother, Arthur, he is unpredictable. Once Laura becomes pregnant, it is Arthur who stands by her and as time passes, Laura learns to love him. But years later, when the irresistible Jake returns, the old attraction returns, and the rivalry between the brothers causes a tragic accident that can never be mended.
This is the best book I’ve read of Mary Lawson.