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Todd Lee
Prince George (B.C.), The Caitlin Press, 1992. 128pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 0-920576-37-0. CIP.

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Gerri Young.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

Set in Williams Lake during the author's appointment to his first pastoral charge, these short stories are easy to read and resonate with the mood of the times. Williams Lake in the 1950s was "a dusty cow town ... poised somewhere between a railroad whistle stop and a town with a possible future." It was then "(he largest cattle shipping point in the province, but lumbering became the major industry." It was boom time in British Columbia, a time of expansion and road building, a time when we couldn't wait to sell all our resources as fast as we could.

Interesting tidbits of Cariboo social history are here, presented by one who is eminently qualified to write about the area. Todd Lee has lived in the Cariboo since the 1930s, when he came as a boy with his family to farm. After university, he and his brother returned to the area and live there still. Todd Lee is a United Church minister and his brother is a doctor. Lee's family life is an integral part of these reminiscences. The title story "He Saw with Other Eyes" is a tribute to his grandfather.

Lee writes of the people and the events that touched his life, for example. Old Annie, Cyclone Smith, Barney Boe, the transients and salesmen, and the rodeos, weddings, loneliness, and murder. The author is an optimistic and sensitive person with a sense of humour. I particularly like the story called "Sit-in at St Andrew's." Another favourite, "Parable of a Rutted Road," emphasizes a recurring theme in the stories - take time to care.

Gerri Young works in the library at R.L. Angus Elementary School in Fort Nelson, British Columbia.
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