Sunday 30 March 2008

More Canadian Fiction

Finished March 30
Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice MacNeil
This is another wonderful Atlantic Canadian novel. It follows four friends from Cape Breton, along with their families, through the Second World War. Three of the young man enlist and after training in both Canada and Britain eventually make it to the front line. The fourth young man is already dealing badly with the trauma in his life and chooses a life at home. We see the parents of these young men and their feelings around the war and their sons' roles in it. We are invited into the thoughts of many of the characters as they try to understand what they are feeling and articulate it, if only to themselves. We also see the community of this small Cape Breton village and how the members interact and relate to the larger world.
I wept through portions of this book (so keep a tissue handy), and laughed through others. MacNeil includes a poem written by one of the Cape Breton Highlanders at the end that adds its voice to her story. This is a tale of both deeds and thoughts and adds to my list of great Canadian fiction.

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