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Katherine Govier

Markham (Ont.), Penguin Books, 1989. 269pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-670-82429-1. (A Viking book). CIP

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by Barbara Egerer.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

Before and After is a collection of short stories told mainly from the point of view of young women who are groping with the realities of life and who are trying to find fulfillment in a predominantly male world.

“The King of Siam” centres around Jane, a westerner who now resides in Paris, France. She comes to grips with the turmoil of her mother's life and eventually understands and accepts her suicide.

"Domain" introduces the reader to two unlikely couples who meet at a summer cottage. Dora and Donald think the other couple, Chip and Mandy, have interloped on their terri­tory despite the fact that Chip and Mandy own the property on the lake. The friendship that evolves is deep, true, and an insightful one for both couples.

"The Bomb Scare" reunites a man and a woman forced to evacuate an inn in the middle of the night. The couple had met thirteen years before when they were art students. Both are cur­rently in so-so marriages to others and thus, eagerly renew their former re­lationships during this brief, forced confinement together. They are brought back to reality and to the present when the bomb threat at the inn proves to be a hoax and the tender moments they shared together seem just an illusion.

Katherine Govier writes sensitively, poignantly and in a no-nonsense way. These eleven stories reflect the con­flicts and life-styles of many contem­porary women.

Barbara Egerer, York Region Roman Catholic Separate School Board, Richmond Hill, Ont.
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