CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Moon, Bryan.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1988. 144pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-720-4 (cloth) $25.95, 0-88750-721-2 (paper) $12.95. (Part Three of The Grapefruit Tree: A Novel in Four Parts).

Reviewed by L. Maingon

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Part Three of The Grapefruit Tree begins exactly where Jonathan Caldwell's exploits as an unwitting "peeping Tom" on Tessa's dancing had left him. His riddle-poem re-establishes the bond that draws him to Tessa and helps further to consolidate his friendship with Bobby.

Part Three of The Grapefruit Tree revolves around Grandfather's idea of "Union Day" (an annual fair), which takes the town by storm and brings immediate prosperity to those who participate, save of course for Tessa's father, George Maclenan, and Grandfather's nemesis, the dour Helen Stadler.

Tessa believes that as a child she was attacked by an owl and flew like a witch. To prove this she lifts her shirt and invites Bobby and Jonathan to touch the scars. George Maclenan walks in at that very moment, and Tessa, Bobby and Jonathan decide to flee to the woods at night. There, they find a derelict house and meet the eccentric Ms. Roget. When they find a clearing in which to sleep, Jonathan ponders out their fate until he is invited by Tessa to join her in her sleeping bag. The novel ends in one of literature's most beautifully and innocently described embraces.

Moon's skill as a writer in the power of description and ability to suspend time and thereby create a very special vein of magic realism is consummate in this third part of his novel. This part regains the power to illuminate the potential drabness of small-town prairie life that infused the first part and seemed to be lost in the second. A major contributing factor in the beauty of Moon's prose is his ability to slide between the man-made construct of the world and the world of nature and animist perception. This is a novel well worth reading.

L. Maingon, University of Western Ontario, London, 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