CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Gabrielle Roy.
Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 1989.
152pp., paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-7710-9856-1. CIP.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Clare A. Darby.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

Gabrielle Roy was an accomplished writer with many titles to her credit. In The Road Past Altamont, Roy revisited characters from Street of Riches (McClelland & Stewart, 1987), but did so in such a way that one does not need to have read the latter in order to enjoy and understand the former.

As the title suggests, this is a story about journeys - a journey to grandmother's, a trip to Lake Winnipeg, a move across Winnipeg, a drive past the hills of Altamont, the voyage of becoming a writer. Along the road Christine learns of change, death, elation, confusion, memory and wanderlust.

In a leisurely style rich in images, Roy brings characters and settings to life as backdrops to the journey of the soul from youth to adulthood. One is reminded in places of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and in other spots of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again (Buccaneer Books, 1981 [1973] ).

The Road Past Altamont is an "adult" book, not because of anything in the vocabulary or the narrative, but because of the maturity of its message. High school librarians might purchase it to back up French programs or to expand Canadian literature holdings.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks Senior High School, Summerside, PEI.
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