Judith Love is a gifted storyteller. In this compelling and thought-provoking novel with its skillfully interwoven plots, she takes the reader on journeys within Canada, Britain and Southern Africa. The author’s acute sense of time and place and well-drawn characters, combine to make this a book that is hard to put down.
Rosalind Halvorsen. Montreal, 2012
It is the Fall of 2008. Maggie Stanton, a widowed mother with a part-time job at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, finds herself at a watershed in her life. Earlier, her husband’s profession had taken the family around the world, with repercussions for Maggie’s career and the upbringing of their children. While now contemplating her own future she is unexpectedly caught up in the complex relationships of her son and daughter, both in their mid-twenties.
Originally on a whim, Maggie has traced the life of her own great-grandmother, Emilie Jane McNiven, who had a root in the Huron community of Wendake, Quebec. With some time on her hands, Maggie writes a fictionalized biography of Emilie whose life lends an historical counter point to the life of Maggie and her family.
Events transpire to take Maggie to the African continent. When she returns home and watches her son and daughter leave to follow their own paths she finally confronts her future.
The story is predominantly about relationships, present day and historical, and it is these relationships that allow the writer and reader to explore such subjects as cultural pluralism, religious diversity, language, and roots -- subjects at the heart of Canada. 367 pages $24.95