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Gwendolyn Drew and Wayland Drew.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1983.
unpaged, cloth, $25.00.
ISBN 0-88750-475-2.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Joan M. Payzant.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

Who would dream that a fascinating and attractive book could be produced about something so superficially commonplace as a weir? How many observers on decks of ferries that cross the Bay of Fundy have given weirs a casual glance and then thought no more about them? The Drews, Gwendolyn with her black-and-white photographs, and Wayland, with his sensitively descriptive text, in this book have raised weirs to their rightful importance as a method for harvesting herring.

Brown's Weir is the story of one family's weir just off Grand Manan Island, appropriately named 'Mystery.' It was built in 1938 for the herring fishery and has been a source of livelihood for the Brown family every since. The book tells the general history of weir fishing and describes exactly how it operates. As he traces the day to day life of the Brown men and their neighbours, the author makes the reader aware of the strong bonds of friendship forged by their dependence upon each other. Mystery and other weirs such as the Star and Jubilee acquire personalities of their own, much as ships do.

The authors do not minimize the hardships of making a living from the sea by means of weir fishing, but their words and photographs will cause many a reader to envy the Browns their way of life. An informative but relaxing book.

Joan M. Payzant, Dartmouth, NS.
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