Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A Place Called Winter

I found this book especially interesting as I had never given much thought to the colonisation of Canada, which, as in the USA, is a rather shameful period of history as land was seized from the original inhabitants and sold off to white settlers seeking a new way of life.

Harry Cane's attempts to conform lead him to marry and father a child when he meets a woman who seems as much an outsider as himself.  He is wealthy enough to lead a modest life of leisure as an Edwardian gentleman, until a series of most unfortunate events threaten public disgrace, financial ruin and criminal charges.

The only escape he can envision is to cross the Atlantic and, rather suprisingly, become a farmer settler in the New World.  Sadly, although he discovers satisfaction and solace in tending the soil, troubles old and new pursue him across the prairies and challenge his new way of life and new found contentment.

This is an epic story and a bit of a change for Patrick Gale, who says he has developed on the story of one of his ancestors to write this excellent book.  It was a pleasurable and compelling read.  

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