CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Geraldine Hennigar.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing, 1991.
145pp., paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-921054-70-X. (NewWaves). CIP.

Subject Heading:
Prohibition-Nova Scotia-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Anne Kelly.

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Midnight Marauders is set in the early 1930s, during Prohibition, on Nova Scotia's south shore. It tells the story of Daniel Veinotte, son of a Canadian preventive services officer. Daniel sneaks out of the house one night to look for the source of the mysterious music he keeps hearing. His search leads him first to the graveyard and then to the Martha-Rae, a Cape Islander owned by the town pedlar, Corker. Daniel is soon mixed up in rum-running, ghost stories and an old romance.

Midnight Marauders is a good book. It is an easy-to-read adventure story with enough historical detail to make it realistic. Some of the scenes, such as the one in which Corker relives a mustard gas attack while on the burning Martha-Rae, are exceptional. Other scenes such as Daniel and Corker's nick-of-time rescue because of a ghostly tip are hard to believe. However, the tone of the book is light and such incidents are easily accepted.

In fact, it is the serious issues - Mrs. Veinotte's miscarriage, Corker's lost loves and broken life - that seem out of place in this novel. The issues of loss, loss of life and loss of love, are hinted at but not fully explored. Although they do help to make the characters more human, I feel that some of these scenes should have been either developed more deeply or eliminated altogether.

In all, though, Midnight Marauders is an enjoyable read and a good addition to the list of Canadian historical fiction.

Anne Kelly, Dartmouth, NS.
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