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Brewster, Elizabeth.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1987, 111p. paper, ISBN 0-88750-661-5 (cloth) $23.95, 0-88750-662-3 (paper) $11.95.

Reviewed by Ingrid vonHausen

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 November

Some of the stories and recollections of this collection by well-known poet Brewster have previously appeared in NeWest Review, Canadian Forum, and More Saskatchewan Gold (Coteau Books). Though these stories hearken back to earlier and less complicated times (the late forties and early fifties) and the characters are ordinary people engaged in the quite ordinary business of living, there is a timelessness here. The characters are as fresh and real as any you will encounter in fiction: the contrasting characters of Sarah and Leota in "Well-meant Advice," Jess and her thirty-five-year-old failed marriage or the well-intentioned Florrie in "The Old Woman" are handled with masterful economy and control. Brewster is after all an excellent writer, just a notch below the best (Atwood and Munro come to mind).

The diary entries of "Visitations" and the autobiographical "Collage" with which the collections ends set the mood and tone and round out the fiction that they frame. The Manet watercolour on the cover is much in keeping with the delicacy and simplicity of this fine writer's work. High School, public, and academic libraries will want to add this to round out their Brewster collections.

Ingrid vonHausen, Preston H.S. Library, New Hamburg, Ont.
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