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Nella Benson.

Toronto, Seal Books, c1982.
162pp, paper, $2.50.
ISBN 0-7704-1727-2.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Joan McGrath.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

At home in England, Sally Bates was a downtrodden lady's maid, at the mercy of the unwanted attentions and persecution of her "betters"; but she has made up her mind that life will be different and better in bustling, brand-new York, in pioneer Upper Canada. With a trunk-full of used clothes and a full ration of spunk, Sally gives herself a new name and a new start as a dressmaker. She is soon one of the most sought-after young women in the area, with a whole new life to live, except for one sturdy shoot planted in England that flourishes still. She has always loved Captain Blaydon Dalby from afar. A younger son of an aristocratic family, he was as remote from humble Sally Bates as a glittering star; but somehow, here in the colonies, the distance between them was narrowed to a space that just might be crossed...

This is a charmingly slight little happily-ever-after fairytale much in the spirit of the author's earlier title, The Reckless Wager. Its flavour is unmistakably that of the twentieth century rather than that of the early nineteenth, both in its vocabulary, particularly its colloquialisms, and in the social attitudes and customs described, but this is unlikely to interfere with the enjoyment of readers in search of cheerful, forgettable leisure reading.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
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