I'll Buy You an Ox:
An Acadian Daughter's Bittersweet Passage into Womanhood

by Betty B. Vaughan,
300 pages,
ISBN: 1551092239

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First Novels - Eyes Peeled
by Eva Tihanyi

I'll Buy You an Ox (Nimbus, 340 pages, $17.95 trade paper), by Betty Boudreau Vaughan, is also a female coming-of-age story set in Nova Scotia, but that's where the similarities to Summer Point end. Boudreau Vaughan chronicles the adolescence of Zoe LeBlanc, a spirited young girl growing up in a poor family in an Acadian village. It is a life of struggle, routine, family commitments, and loneliness, all of which Boudreau Vaughan depicts with credibility and grace. Zoe's turbulent relationships with her deluded father and her best friend Estelle are particularly compelling, and although the book lacks a strong narrative drive, it captures the priorities, fears, embarrassments, jealousies, and rivalries of childhood-in short, the whole awkward ordeal of growing up-with exceptional sensitivity and skill.


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