CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Duncan, Helen.

Toronto, Simon & Pierre, c1984. 200pp, cloth, $22.95, ISBN 0-88924-134-1. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Elaine Balpataky

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

Graduating in 1906 with a gold medal in mathematics, Kathleen Rice from St. Mary's, Ontario, taught school for a short time, then became a trapper and prospector in northern Manitoba. Beautiful, tall, and fiercely independent, she was admired, but misunderstood, as she defied the conventions of her day. She became partners with Dick Woosey, an ex-British Imperial Army man, and they lived and worked together until his death in 1940. Although their search for gold and other metals was successful, they were denied the wealth they had earned by unscrupulous legal and financial managers.

Basing her novelized account solidly on facts gleaned from diaries, letters, tapes, interviews, clippings, and speeches, Helen Duncan tries to unravel the mystery of Kate Rice, her personality, and relationship with Dick Woosey. The result is more a biography than a novel. Only towards the end does her account take on the true character of a novel.

Kate Rice provides an interesting subject in this era of women's liberation. Her life story also reveals an interesting period of exploration and development in Canada's northwest. This book would be suitable for supplementary reading in women's studies or early twentieth century Canadian history.

Elaine Balpataky, Ingersoll District C.I., Ingersoll, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works