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Yuri Kupchenko

Alberta, Tree Frog Press, 1989. 256pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-88967-063-3. (Pioneer series). CIP

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up
Reviewed by David Chadwick.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 January

This novel is an attempt to portray life in the Ukrainian settlements of Alberta northeast of Edmonton near the Shandro feny in 1910. The author, a Ukrainian himself from the region, saw this book as an opportunity to relate some of the challenges and experiences of early pioneer life to a new generation.

The protagonist of the novel, John Konopale, is a former military hero of the Ukraine who immigrated to Alberta to become a farmer, horsetrader, and later leader of the growing Ukrainian community.

Regrettably, in an attempt to high­light the leadership role of the hero, the author has made him too perfect to be credible. Indeed, the totally flawless character of Konopale makes reading his experiences tiresome and borders on parody. Konopale is the only person in the novel developed to any extent and each short anecdote seems designed to show the strength of his character, not of the pioneers themselves.

All in all the book runs short of ex­pectations and will likely not appeal to a wide audience.

David Chadwick, Winnipeg, Man.
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