Having Faith In The Polar Girls' Prison

by Cathleen With | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780670068456 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Pooker3 of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 3/23/2009
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, March 23, 2009
Birthday present. Yay!

I wonder why no picture showed up here. How irksome!

Edited to add: Updated the cover pic August 5/10 - ain't technology grand!

Journal Entry 2 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, April 18, 2009
I have to say that I am totally impressed with this "first" novel. Although I requested it for my birthday, I did have some reservations. The first was on seeing the author's photo on the jacket flap. One look at this blonde woman with the mischievous smiling face and I thought, "What could she possibly really know about teenaged girls living up north (even though she has apparently worked as a teacher in Inuvik)?" The other was her choice of Trista's name. How cutsie, I thought. Tyler too for that matter. I imagine that it is hard to come up with names for one's characters that fit perfectly with their stories and are believable to the reader. When I first came upon "Trista", I gave a little inward groan thinking I would never warm to this kid saddled as she was with this "amateurish" name. But I did love the cover jacket and I was intrigued by a coming-of-age story set in the North. And I do like to support new authors by buying their books.

Well shame on me for making such a judgment based on first impressions - in this case the author's looks of all things. While I haven't lived up north and, as such, wouldn't have the foggiest idea myself what life would really be like there, With sold me on her version. I could easily envision the setting and the people and their predicaments. Her characters rang true to me. I especially loved the Snow Nanuks. As for Trista herself, she became as real to me as any kid I know. Sometimes I didn't like or understand her but With made me care about her.

In my job, I have occasion to meet young woman like Trista who come from broken homes and backgrounds of abuse and poverty and neglect. They do really stupid things and get themselves into more trouble than they can ever get out of, because they don't know anything else. They don't know how to parent because they weren't parented and they'll have children whose chances are next to zero. Most days I lament that we allow this to happen. Some days I just want to take these kids home with me and love them, because I imagine that's all they ever really needed and it didn't take me too long to want to take Trista home.

Objectively, I know that is not the answer for Trista or kids like her. Trista has to come to terms with her own circumstances and, especially, what she has done, including that which put her in the Polar Girls' facility and the responsibility of having given life to a profoundly damaged child - one which she is ill-equipped to ever parent. She has to let go of her fantasy world to have any chance of making it in the real one. Following Trista on that personal journey was extremely painful and yet not without some tentative inklings of hope.

I really enjoyed this read and will keep an eye out for With's previously published short story collection and will eagerly anticipate whatever she produces next.

Journal Entry 3 by Pooker3 at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Released 13 yrs ago (5/13/2009 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



Faith and the Polar Girls are on their way to visit John Mutford in Yellowknife. I hope you enjoy the book John!

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