CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Eliane Corbeil Roe

Toronto, Harper & Collins, 1989. 256pp, cloth, $15.95
ISBN 0-00-223498-X. CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14
Reviewed by Alison Mews.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

This first novel by Eliane Roe is a sensitively written story of an intelligent French-Canadian girl growing up in an English community between the wars.

Despite her reluctance, Lucy accepts the challenge to represent her school in a scholarship competition - a decision that sets her apart form her schoolmates and allows her little time for normal adolescent social interaction. The contrast between her hectic and noisy home life and the long hours of solitude in the convent study hall is at first strange to Lucy, but gradually she looks forward to studying "in the circle of lamplight." The competition becomes the vehicle by which Lucy realizes her talent for writing and confronts her memories of her late father and brother. By the close of the novel, Lucy discovers a new awareness of herself and others, and is eager to meet the challenges of high school.

Roe has created a believable portrait of Lucy and has skillfully delineated her relationships with friends and family. The other characters are deftly drawn and their distinct personalities are developed through revealing vignettes and authentic dialogue. The pre-war atmosphere is evocatively re-created and is an appropriate backdrop to Lucy's growing consciousness.

An extremely perceptive and readable novel, which will appeal particularly to young girls. I look forward to future novels by this talented newcomer.

Alison Mews, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld.
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