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Jocelyn Cobb.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1982.
325pp, cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-7710-2159-3.

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Joan Kerrigan.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

Maudie McFarlane's parents are having marital problems. Therefore, they send their daughter to stay with her Irish relatives, the Polkingthornes, at their farm in northern Ontario. The farm is called Belmullet, "a wistful link with their homeland, after the marketing town near where they'd lived in Ireland."

It is the time of the Depression, and Maudie endures some of the economic hardships of that difficult era. She remains at the farm during the war years and eventually marries one of her cousins. During that period, Maudie grows from an insecure child to a self-possessed young woman who is capable of coping with the eccentric behaviour of her relatives.

Author Jocelyn Cobb was raised in Quebec, and perhaps that is the reason she shows such sensitivity to the reasons for antagonism that arose over the years on the part of rural French-Canadian communities towards English-speaking "intruders." She also shows an excellent understanding of the complexities of family relationships.

This is the kind of romantic novel that will do well with adults in the public library, but adolescents will also enjoy it because the first-person, diary-like style is effective for describing the torments and the highs and lows that plague the 'teen years. Recommended.

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