Wednesday, 10 December 2008

More Canadian Fiction

Finished December 9
Holding My Breath by Sidura Ludwig
This book takes place in Winnipeg after World War II, and the characters are part of the Jewish community in the city. The narrator is Beth Levy, an only child. She grows up in a household where they are often other family members living, including her grandmother and aunts.
Beth's mother has aspirations to own a particular home and take a leading role in the Jewish community. Her aunt Carrie shares story of Beth's uncle Phil, who died in the war. Carrie alters clothes for women in the community, working out of the back room at Beth's father's pharmacy.
Beth's younger aunt, Sarah, is a rebel and a beauty. She doesn't follow what is expected of her and has dreams beyond their community. Beth is drawn to all of them for different reasons as she tries to find her own place, struggling against pressure to conform, but afraid to rebel too much. Beth is a clear voice here and the reader can see how she is influenced by the women around her.

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