by Julia Van Gorder,
188 pages,
ISBN: 1550501275

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First Novels - Elvis and the Shaman

The 1912 Regina cyclone and World War I form the setting for Julia van Gorder's Cyclone (Coteau, 196 pages, $14.95, paper). It's the story of Agnes Jackson, her husband, Edward, and their six children-immigrants from England trying to adapt to life in Saskatchewan. The tone of the book is governed by its uninspired prose: "For birthdays Agnes usually made a sponge cake. She wrapped coins in waxed paper and slid them into the cake with a lemon icing and topped it with candles which she lit in the kitchen." This sort of detail is typical of the entire novel. Needless to say, Cyclone lacks the impact of its title.


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