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Sailer, Robina.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart. c1986. 252pp, cloth. $19.95, ISBN 0-7710-7902-8. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

1948, Newfoundland is poised on the brink of entry into Canada as the tenth province. There is much to be gained by the change; there will be government benefits for many, especially the elderly, who so badly need some form of security in their hard lives, but there is, as well, much at risk. Many people fear for the unique and wonderful quality of a way of life, unlike any other, that now may be threatened.

Hannah, wife of fisherman Haim Holt, is almost a true Islander. Although she was born and has lived in Steadman's Cove most of her life, her unknown father was a Norwegian sailor from away." She is not quite like all the others in her small world.

Like her mother before her, Hannah is a midwife, whose work means sudden calls in the night, and dangerous errands of mercy. This has brought her close to the local doctor, John Weatherton, with whom she has shared many a tense bedside vigil. Theirs is the story of a slow-growing love; a love that is at first forbidden since both are married.

But changes come as the years pass, and following Hannah's early widowhood and the failure of Doctor John's unhappy marriage, a new life becomes possible for them. This is a work closely tied to the rugged country and strong, upright countryfolk, it so lovingly describes. Most fictional romances of today are tales of restraint cast to the winds in the pursuit of self-fulfillment.Hannah is the quiet, richly satisfying story of a love made stronger and dearer by unswerving dedication and service, and of long devotion at last rewarded.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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