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Carole de Vault.

Toronto, Fleet Books, c1982.
282pp, cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 0-7706-0001-8.

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

This is the story of a woman's involvement with the FLQ during that period when the attention of all Canada was focused upon the series of terrorist activities in Quebec that culminated in the kidnapping of James Cross and the murder of Pierre Laporte. Written in the first person, the story follows the narrator through a wide range of personal and political relationships that include roles as active member of and informant against the FLQ. In the course of the book, we learn something about the author, the milieu she grew up in, and the organization she worked for and eventually informed upon.

Carole de Vault spent her childhood in a community that could have served as a model for Huxley's Devils of Loudun rather than one set in North America in the age of television. The contrast between her early life in rural Quebec and her student years in Montreal was so extreme that we must consider her later behaviour against that background. She maintains throughout her narrative a sense of naivety even when engaged in acts of violence. This quality attaches itself in part to her fellow FLQ members. They were not innocents but they do seem to have behaved amateurishly in many respects.

The book is written in an engaging manner with much dialogue and entertaining detail. There are perhaps too many characters to hold our attention, many of whom appear briefly and un-remarkably. The flow of the narrative seems to falter near the end when de Vault fades away from the scene only to be recalled to give evidence before the Keable Commission in 1979. As a piece of historical writing the importance of the book lies in the recreation of the atmosphere that led to the events of the period rather than in what it adds to our knowledge of the events themselves. It should be of value in libraries for students seeking background information about a very important period in modern Canadian history.

John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs E. S., Victoria, BC.
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