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Reg Silvester

Regina, Coteau Books, 1990. 80pp, paper, ISBN 1-55050-013-9 (cloth) $21.95, ISBN 1-55050-012-0 (paper) $9.95. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Wishbone appears to be a collection of short stories until one is part way through the book, when it becomes apparent that the main characters in each section are all part of the Condon family of Wildale, Alberta. It would undoubtedly be valuable for someone doing character sketches, as each of the main characters is different, to say the least! You have the parents who start out as the ideal couple and end up virtually separated until the night of the conception of their fifth child. The embarrassed eldest daughter, Mabel or May, runs off to Edmonton when her mother gives birth to a child while in her early forties. May marries a "bas­tard" whom she later divorces and then marries a man half her age. Ethel is the stay-at-home type, while the twins, tester and Chester, leave the family hotel business and search for mates in the big city.

Walter, the youngest, is the real crack-pot. He believes he was born with a wishbone which he uses on several different occasions to change the course of events. Eventually, he wishes the wishbone away because he fears its potential and later wishes he had it back so he could save the world. 'Tog," Walter's mate-to-be, believes that the world needs to be saved and in order to help Walter agrees to marry him and have his child. The resulting baby brings peace and tranquility to all who visit it.

This is not a story that flows along easily and at times one wonders what the author is trying to accomplish, but it does tie together eventually. Had it not been for the fact that I was reviewing the book I would probably have set it aside after the second chapter and never picked it up again. But 1 did finish it. I cannot say that I really enjoyed it but it is an intriguing book.

Hugh A. Cook, Maple, Ont.
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