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Elizabeth Anderson Varley.

Terrace (BC), Northern Times Press, c1981.
228pp, paper, $23.95 (cloth), $12.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-920390-02-1 (cloth), 0-920390-03-X (paper).

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Some months ago, I heard Elizabeth Varley speak to an audience of elementary school children. She described her childhood in Kitimat and succeeded in transporting her young listeners back over sixty years to a simpler time. This success has been repeated in a very interesting book.

This book is not a history of Kitimat, rather it is an autobiographical essay that provides the reader with an engrossing picture of the people and events associated with what was then a remote rural area of northwestern British Columbia. Several themes emerge from the narrative, some of which, while superficially at odds with each other, are seen to be part of the overall picture of life at the time. Self-reliance is seen as a necessity, and yet it is coupled with an intense enjoyment of human companionship; love of animals is set against the reality that today's pet could well be tomorrow's dinner; love of nature is underlaid by an awareness of its dangers. Perhaps of greatest importance is the picture painted of the native people, here revealed as being kind and friendly when encountered on their own home ground. In dealing with these themes the author writes with sensitivity without being sentimental.

Kitimat My Valley will be cherished by members of Varley's own generation, for whom it will bring back memories of their own early years. Today's school-children will also benefit from the picture it provides them of the period, as knowledge of where they have been will aid them to understand where they are going.

John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs J. H. S., Victoria, BC.
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