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. Volume VIII Number 14 . . . . March 15, 2002
The Dollmage, by Martine Leavitt, is a novel set in a time when magic and the power of the wise woman or the Dollmage is unquestioned. The Dollmage is the one who determines the story of the village. It is through her wisdom and ability to see into the future that the valley survive s against attacks from the outside. Unfortunately, the Dollmage is getting older, and her skills are becoming weaker. She must choose a successor. The problem is that she is uncertain of whether it should be Renoa or Annakey. Allowing her emotions to overpower what she knows in her heart, she makes the wrong choice, and the valley is threatened as a result.
Leavitt chooses to tell this story from the viewpoint of the Dollmage and in the first person. Consequently, the novel, as well as being a flashback, also becomes a confession for the Dollmage. As she moves through the retelling of the events that led up to this fateful day, she also is coming to terms with her own role in the actions. In addition, Annakey and Renoa, who are presented as two polar opposites, also have to come to realize where they fit in the story of the village. As becomes evident from the beginning, things are not as obvious as they appear. This, too, can be said of the novel. At first read, the novel seems to be a very simple story, but, on a much deeper level, it represents so much more. At a time when freedom is being threatened, this novel returns to some basic ideals.
Christina Pike is a Learning Resource and English Teacher at Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts, NF.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.