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Bruce Allen Powe.

Markham (ON), Penguin Books, c1983, 1984.
ISBN 0-14-007260-8.

Grades 11 and up

Reviewed by Esther Hutchison.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

Summer of 1935, the depths of the Depression, is the setting for this novel. The Social Credit movement is bringing hope and the promise of $25 a month to the people of Alberta. The author is well equipped to describe the political background, having done his MA thesis on aspects of the Social Credit program. His description of the events leading up to the election and the reactions of the people to the politics of the time create an accurate and believable background.

The plot concerns Doug, who drifts aimlessly through his fifteenth summer until the unexplained suicide of his best friend Babe shocks him into examining the world and people around him. The two story lines, the political and the personal, are interwoven with varying degrees of success.

Politics is boring in Doug's estimation, and this is transmitted to the reader in some of the more didactic passages. The plot is somewhat contrived, but given these flaws, this is still an interesting and worthwhile novel.

The neighbourhood, the characters, and the details of the era are well drawn and convincing. The political information is extensive. The story will require the discretion of the librarian with regard to some sexual references. However, for mature students, it provides an interesting insight into a unique segment of Canada's history.

The Penguin paperback edition is set in a clear typeface and bound to their usual standards. They obviously expect it to become a classic. Recommended with the above reservations.

Esther Hutchison, Rocky Mountain House, AB.
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