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Rudy Wiebe.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
262pp, cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-7710-8989-9.

Reviewed by Margaret S. MacLean.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

Prairie Indians, Mennonite immigrants, the educated, the self sufficient, and the European peasant, people transplanted by time or place, form Wiebe's My Lovely Enemy.

Three stories are woven together: the briefest and most gripping, the story of Maskepetoon, the Young Chief, a Cree who was known as Bras Croche to the French and Broken-Arm or Brocassie to the English. Professor Dyck tells his own Mennonite story in scholarly ruminations, dream fantasies, and dovetailed minutiae until the last third of the novel. Here a narrator takes over; the story of the Bloods, Blackfeet, Piegans, and Crees disappears as Wiebe, through Professor Dyck, tries to unite his Mennonite roots and twentieth-century Albertan life. Professor Dyck is the "lovely enemy" of the title, described so in a poem by his lover.

The extensive use of modern and ancient poetry, ancient and current history may put the novel out of the preference scale of some readers. This reviewer was virtually spell-bound by the snatches of history of Maskepetoon and the Plains Indians, stories to add to Wiebe's formidable novels, The Temptations of Big Bear* and The Scorched-Wood People.**

This novel is meant for adult readers. Wiebe wants us to gain a wider definition of "love" and "lover" and a more resilient view of a biblical faith.

*Reviewed vol. V/l Winter 1977 p.45.
**Reviewed vol. VI/3 Summer 1978 p.162.

Margaret S. MacLean, Central Technical School, Toronto, ON.
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