CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Constance Beresford-Howe

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1989. 191pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 0-7710-1208-X. CIP

Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

What a pleasure to see a new edition of this Canadian classic! Having spent most of her adult life in a loveless marriage, Eve realizes that she can, conceivably, live on her own without her husband's support. Her husband, enjoying arthritic ill health, treats her as though she were a maid. After forty years Eve has had enough, so one morning at 9:30 she simply sets down the breakfast tray she is carrying, packs a small bag and leaves.

The life Eve builds for herself after she has left her husband is full of difficulties, mental as much as physical. Through Eve's eyes the reader sees how difficult it is even to look respectable on a limited income. Eve is someone we've seen on the street, at a bus stop, or picking over the wilted vegetables at the supermarket. The quality that makes Eve so attractive is her spirit. Occasionally, she is down but she's never out. Like Margaret Laurence's Hagar she is her own person despite the poor hand fate has dealt.

Constance Beresford-Howe's writing style is simple and so easy to read that one could forget how difficult it is to make such a style work. Painlessly, she draws the reader in so that, without realizing it, we understand what it is like to live in Eve's Montreal neighbourhood as the grey-white winter melts into spring.

This book is highly recommended for adult leisure reading as well as for secondary school libraries. If you don't already have it, buy it.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Ottawa, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are 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 Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works