|A Review of: Midnight Sun
by W.P. Kinsella
Strangely, this is the second book dealing with people canoeing down a river in the arctic. Only this time they are peripheral characters, a couple, who also come to a bad end. The husband is drowned, the canoe and supplies lost, but the woman survives, and is rescued by a young Inuit. However, in the surreal world of the modern arctic, some young Inuit girls form a cult which worships the white woman's toque. Many other complications arise when the woman's twin sister comes to the village, and it is wrongly assumed that she is a spirit who has split in two. This is just one of the surreal events in this delightful novel, where past and present, fantasy and fiction, myth and reality all mix. In a small arctic village, the political ins and outs differ little from those of more populated areas. There is an Inuit despot with a severe thirst for Canadian Club. There are incompetent and overwhelmed government officials, plans for self-government that may well depose the despotic leader, and indifferent natives who regard the white men with humorous disdain. Snowmobiles and the Inuit spirit world blend in a comic-horror scenario. The book is described as capturing the heart and soul of the modern Inuit village, and indeed it does, warts and all.