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Amy Friedman

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1989. 131pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-783-2 (cloth) $25.95, 0-88750-784-0 (paper) $12.95

Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

This is Amy Friedman's first book and it whets the appetite for what is sure to follow. Its flashback style chronicles the most interesting and widely varying activities of the past decade or so of her life. While the book is non-fiction one has to keep reminding oneself of this, because it reads like a novel.

Our heroine (and author) spent several years working as a "gofer" in the movie business. Her most illustrious job (and one which she admits impresses everyone) was working as assistant to director Ivan Reitman on Ghostbusters. That particular job included everything from getting him restaurant reservations (at a cost of $700 in bribes for maitre d's) to shopping with his wife.

In the end, however, true love conquers and Amy follows her heart to Canada, trading eighteen-hour days on a movie set for eighteen-hour days on a sheep farm. Through the eyes of a neophyte sheep breeder - Amy - we learn how complicated it can be when lambing happens in December instead of April (as it should if the breeder has timed it right). We also watch a city girl become countrified so that now her aching body is the result of haying rather than making sure that there is a ready supply of coffee and bagels for a movie crew.

Throughout the book this juxtaposition of city and country - their differences and their similarities - is delicately handled by the author. She never mugs for effect or for a laugh and, in the end, one is left thinking, 'This is an interesting person. I wonder when her first book of fiction is coming out."

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Ottawa, Ont.
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