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Frederick Philip Grove

Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1989. 359pp, paper, $7.95
ISBN 0-7710-9960-6. (New Canadian Library series). CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up
Reviewed by Alan Thomas.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 January

As a chronicle of settler life on the praries Fruits of the Earth provides a classic history and sociology of place and times up to the mid-1920s. It is also a good novel in the realist tradition and thoroughly accessible to students. Rudy Wiebe, in the afterword, quarrels over the application of the term novel - but this will seem unimportant to readers interested in the year-by-year struggle of the Ontario immigrant Abe Spalding to establish a prosperous farm in Manitoba.

Grove brings to his new world material a sense of the tragic developed in nineteenth-century Europe. In a traditional heroic characterization, Abe Spalding is established as physically strong and powerfully single-minded, but he is a man who comes to taste the ashes of defeat in his alienations of himself from his family and community. There is, however, reassertions at the end. Students will be delighted by the clear moral outlines of Grove's tale.

Alan Thomas, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
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