Sunday 12 January 2014

Sweetness from Ashes

Finished January 5
Sweetness from Ashes by Marlyn Horsdal

This novel is set in Vancouver, Ottawa, and a farm near Ottawa, with some historical references to life decades earlier in Ghana. Jenny, Chris and Sheila are tasked in Pat's will to go back to the family farm near Ottawa to bury Pat's ashes there. Pat was estranged from the rest of the family, but we don't actually find out why until we get into the novel a little ways.
Sheila is reluctant to open that door to the past, afraid of what she might discover and afraid of what other closed doors it may lead to.
Jenny is the will's executor and more curious about the past rift in the family, although even she is surprised at how it affects her future.
Chris is less intimately concerned with this lost past as he has no blood ties to that side of the family, but he finds that some of the new knowledge he gains draws him strongly and changes the course of his life significantly.
Meanwhile, an older woman reflects on her life as she reads over her late husband's memoirs and prepares to take them to be published. As the two stories draw together, she finds herself newly invigorated and moving forward with her own life.
An interesting tale of families, prejudice, and paternalism.

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