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David and Maggie Helwig
Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1991. 169pp, paper
ISBN 0 88750455-3 (cloth) $29.95, ISBN 0 88750 8561-1 (paper) $15.95. CIP

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Katheryn Broughton

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Produced annually since 1971, this anthology (featuring recent writers both familiar and new) is once again a treat for the reader. It is an intriguing collection of stories in which the authors "have chosen to look at the small tragedies-and the small victories."

There is great diversity in topic and style. In David Manicom's "Ice in Dark Water" an elderly nun's hope for a repetition of a vision experienced at the age of fourteen is interwoven with her faith, her doubts and her work with unfortunate women. A se cond reading yields the gold in this splendid story. Surrealism is served in Ann Diamond's "Evil Eye," a tale of envy and revenge which includes a pregnancy fathered by the goat-hoofed god, Pan. Michael Kenyon's "Chaste" concerns an older woman who calmly faces the inexplicable disappearance of her husband. The couple had experienced a joy they had never thought to have again just before he vanished.

Love between fathers and sons over three generations is elucidated in Thomas King's wonderful "Traplines." Neither of the fathers is able to express his affection in words, and even actions do not provide a clear "word" to the mothers, but the sons kno w. In Carol Malyon's "The Keel Lies Underneath the Water with the Fish," Sandra re-tells the story of her parents' romance in several versions. She knows this is the way myths develop. Since her parents are dead, she also is aware that she now has the pow er she lacked as a child and can tell their story as she wishes.

Variety of maintained in the other six stories.

Highly recommended.

Katheryn Broughton, Thornhill, Ont.
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