CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Smyth, Donna B.

Toronto, Women's Press, c1986. 263pp, paper. $8.95, ISBN 0-88961-102-5. CIP

Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

Subversive Elements is intricately plotted to the extent that one spends time (if sufficiently motivated) to make certain that one is indeed following the correct strand of the double plot at any given moment. Described us "textually and thematically subversive." the two stories cross and recross in often baffling fashion.

One of the two plots deals with local efforts to fend off the proposed invasion of uranium mining into a quiet Nova Scotian community. The storm of protest and argument that erupts around the explosive issue is presented as factual data, and might well serve as anti-nuclear or environmentalist literature verbatim, were it not for the second, apparently totally disparate plot line, describing the romantic and wildly unlikely affair between an unhappy young monk. Brother Bonaventure, and his much older lover. Beatrice, complicated by the slowly unravelling accounts of the earlier lives that have led them to this tangle.

This work demands a good deal of its readers; it is doubtful that many will be willing to devote the requisite effort.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, 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