ISBN: 9780771093944 Global Overview for this book
1 journaler for this copy...
Anyway, I'm astonished at what a great book this was. I'm almost ashamed that I hadn't bothered to read it until now. I have read a good majority of the NCL, but now I'm wondering just how many more I ought to have read, What have I been missing out on? I think I'll make a point of finding out!
This is the story of a pioneer farm family living in Manitoba. Caleb Gare is the tyrannical patriarch. He dominates his family with physical and psychological cruelty. Amelia, his wife, has a secret. It is a secret that her husband knows, a secret presumably so scandalous and damaging that her husband is able to manipulate his wife into submission out of her fear that he will use his knowledge to hurt those this secret concerns. Amelia behaves very much the abused wife - always trying to second guess and take care of what's going to set her husband off.
The Gares have four children, Charlie, Judith, Ellen and Martin. The four are essentially Caleb's slave labour. They do all the work on the farm - weak or ill, they all must carry their share of the load or bear the wrath of their father or, worse, have their mother bear his wrath. They know their mother has a terrible secret - they just don't know what it is. For Charlie, Ellen and Martin, there is no escape. They have submitted and resigned themselves to this harsh life shackled to the land. Judith on the other hand is determined to escape.
Those willing to help her are Lind Archer, the school teacher who comes to board with the Gares; Mark Jordan who comes to help out a dying neighbour and who is Lind Archer's love interest and who also is tied somehow into Amelia's secret; and Sven Sandbo, Judith's lover.
I can well imagine that this book was indeed a sensation when it was first published in 1925 as the back cover blurb suggests. Judith is a wild child - her passionate romps with Sven are erotic and violent. There is lots of sexuality in the book including, if I'm not reading too much into it, some eyebrow-raising sexual tensions between Judith and Lind and an interesting almost sexual relationship between Caleb and his land.
I highly recommend this book for lovers of Canadian fiction. I'll be releasing it into the wild for gypsysmom's Canada Day release challenge in about a month's time.
In the meantime this is my 19th book by a Canadian woman read for The 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
on a bench at the mill.
I've released this book as part of the Canada Day release challenge in celebration of Canadian literature. I hope the finder enjoys it. Happy Canada Day!