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Ginette Bureau.

Toronto, Clarke, Irwin, c1982.
159pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-7720-1356-X.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Mollie Hooper.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Mona is a true story told by a mother who learns that her four-year-old daughter has leukemia and that there is no hope. Although the book gives in detail the events from the time of the doctor's diagnosis until the child is twelve, it does not evoke in the reader the usual surface emotion of pity. Instead, because the writer reveals her reaction to the situation in a very objective, searching manner, we are moved to admiration for her courage and dignity in facing adversity and personal crisis.

The first few pages show her reaching the depths of hopelessness. Then the words of a friend-"Why don't you try to live for today, just for today? Don't try to live something that hasn't happened yet."—strike a spark of determination in her, and she decides on a course of action. It is not an easy course. Fighting the verdict of medical science, the inadvertent heartlessness of hospital personnel, the awkwardness of friends and neighbours, she holds fast to hope, living one day at a time.

She does not make of herself a saint or a martyr, but tells her story in a straightforward, terse, and honest manner. She minces no words as she shows how, in the following of this course of action, her relationships with her husband and her young son who has just started school, are affected.

I heard this author, Ginette Bureau, being interviewed on the CBC about her book. Her voice and her manner of answering the questions assured me of the sincerity of her purpose in telling this story. The key word is hope. Although her battle is not totally won, this contemporary tale of defiance and unpretentious heroism will be an inspiration to all of those parents facing the crisis of caring for a child with leukemia.

Her style is a simple flowing, straight from the heart. Very short chapters add ,to the feeling of day-to-day living. A postscript written by her Montreal doctor gives credence to her story and emphasizes hope for the future.

The book is well bound; the type is easy to read on good quality paper, altogether a must for high school and public libraries.

Mollie Hooper, Qualicum Beach, BC.
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