Sunday, 15 May 2016

Unfinished book on a chilly Spring morning...

It’s a chilly morning in May as I sit down to write this blog post.  I was cooking this morning and looked out my kitchen window to see what looked like apple blossom petals drifting down from the sky.  Against the sunny backdrop, I thought it was a case of strong winds blowing the petals from my neighbour’s apple tree down to my backyard, but as I checked out the front window, I found it was happening everywhere - it was the most beautiful brief snowfall I’ve ever seen!  It lasted about 3 minutes, then ended.  Right now it looks like overcast skies and sleet - who knows what will be next!

I’ve not quite finished the book Black Apple by Canadian author Joan Crate.  This recent publication is set in a residential school in Alberta during and after World War II and tells the story of Sinopaki Whitewater, renamed Rose Marie, a young girl who is taken from her home and family at the age of seven and brought to St Mark’s Residential School for Girls, run by the Sisters of Brotherly Love.  The nun in charge of running the school, Mother Grace, has her doubts about the value of these schools, and her own faith in and commitment to God.  She questions some of the events and actions that took place before Rose Marie arrived, but which taints the true mission of the schools, to rescue these Indian children from their heathen family ways and educate them in a Godly setting.  Of course, we all know what really happened in residential schools, and I was afraid this book would dwell too much on the horrors that took place at that terrible period in our country’s history, but so far it is surprisingly tame, while still managing to have a strong message.  It certainly isn’t glossing over the terrible acts and conditions inflicted on those poor children; rather, the author seems to manage to convey this truth while still demonstrating that something of value may have been brought forth and that someone in charge may have cared enough and questioned enough to make a difference.  I’ve still got a third of the book to read, and it was due back at the library yesterday.  I tried to renew it but it was on hold for someone else, so it’s accruing late charges even as we speak - I hope to finish it today.  It’s very good so far, and I would definitely recommend it to any reader who enjoys reading novels that explore the darker side of Canadian history.  I’ll give a rating once I finish it.

That’s all for today.  

Bye for now…
Julie

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