CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Kenneth Radu

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1989. 245pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-747-6 (cloth) $29.95, 0-88750-748-4 (paper) $14.95.

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by Donna Doyle.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

Distant Relations is the story of Vera, an elderly woman, as she waits for her children to arrive for a family reunion. She is plagued by a bad heart and disturbing memories. During her weak spells, she recalls past events of her life, a litany of tragedies: brutal accidents, loss of both parents, cruel treatment at the hands of her aunt, an unhappy marriage, poverty, loss of a lover, children she hardly knows.

I found Distant Relations tedious and boring. Most of the action takes place in Vera's thoughts and what is worse, she repeats events over and over. The book is one continuous reminiscence with no breaks for chapters or subtitles. I felt I had been backed into a corner by a tipsy relative who kept saying, "Remember the time ..."

For me, it was one long whine. The language and scenes are often coarse. I do not recommend this book.

Donna Doyle, D’Ecousse, N.S.
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