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Ron Atkinson
Lantzville (B.C.), Oolichan Books, 1991. 117pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-88982-106-2. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

A Fire in the Rain by Ron Atkinson was a joy to review. He gives his readers glimpses of life on "his" west coast island throughout the year. Atkinson starts us off with the "Septem­ber rites" and after many episodes, encompassing all the seasons, he brings us back to raking leaves one year hence. Each brief encounter is like a photo­graph in time, and yet so much more, for his exquisite use of language makes his one- to three-page chapters very special.

I don't believe I would be an avid fan of island living but 1 would dearly love to be on Atkinson's island to experience with him the joys of life as he sees them. He makes each event a thing to remem­ber. A simple activity that some might call picking mushrooms he has labelled "Stalking Chanterelles." The western cedar becomes the "Sacramental Cedar." The work of the fishermen is collected under his thoughts of "Knots and Nets." And so his essays flow. Each brief chapter contributes to the whole and one leaves the book appreciating and loving nature all the more because of his insights.

This work might be best appreciated by adults but much younger people would find enjoyment in most of his sketches, even if they had to keep a dictionary handy to understand fully all of his descriptive passages.

Hugh A. Cook, Maple, Ont.
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