CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Darlene Barry Quaife

Winnipeg, Turnstone Press, 1989. 234pp, paper, $10.95
ISBN 0-88801-133-4. CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up
Reviewed by Mollie Hooper.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

Although this is her first novel, Darlene Quaife has provided a book that is timely, sensitive, and imaginative, but still makes the reader face the harsh realities of today.

Set in the rain-drenched, dying logging town of Tanis Bay on Vancouver Island, it is the story of a young woman, Aislinn Cleary, struggling to find hope for the future while burdened with the responsibility of a dying mother and a family store.

Through Quaife's culturally diverse characters and their conversation, her settings, and her mythology we are led toward her main theme—that our society should begin to face reality about the environment by adopting certain native Indian attitudes.

The Bone Bird, whom we meet through Aislinn's grandmother, a medicine woman, is a symbol of either death or new courage and wisdom for those who survive its challenge.

As we read this far-seeing novel, we can see that instead of staking out our territories, we should be sharing our cultures. Quaife accomplishes this with vivid detail, pithy dialogue, and a deft blending of realism and imagination. This attractively bound, easy-to-read book is a must for school and public libraries.

Mollie Hooper, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
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