Monday, 16 June 2008

More Great Canadian Fiction

Finished June 14
After River by Donna Milner
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in a small town southern B.C. in the late 1960s. Natalie Ward lives on a dairy farm with her family of three older brothers. The family has been in her father's family for a few generations and everyone pulls their weight on the farm. When the hired man leaves, Natalie's mother takes on a young draft-dodger from the States to help out. River may dress a bit different than they are used to, but he knows about dairy farming and soon fits into their lives comfortably.
River's presence on the farm changes the family dynamic and eventually disrupts the close family life. Natalie left the farm when she was seventeen, and now as her mother is dying returns to the farm to face the truth of what happened back thirty-five years earlier. This novel covers the family relationships, emotions, culture of both the times and of small-town life.
This is Milner's first novel, but she has a strong voice and this story was well-told.

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