by Norma Hawkins,
144 pages,
ISBN: 0778010392

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First Novels - Stolen China, Stolen Dory
by Eva Tihanyi

Chokecherry by Norma Hawkins (Oberon, 112 pages, $29.95 cloth, $14.95 paper) is the first-person account of Becky Hastings's adventures as the wife of a newly ordained Anglican minister in a small Saskatchewan town. The often humorous anecdotes revolve around food (or the lack of it), the eccentric townspeople (most notably Min Bowser, whose singing is described as a "vocalamity"), the hardships of daily life without conveniences such as running water or an electric stove, and Becky's general ineptness in measuring up to the ministers' wives who have preceded her.

Hawkins, herself the wife of a clergyman, knows of what she speaks. The novel has sincerity; one gets the impression the author has lived through many of the things she tells about. Not only has she survived, but she can now look back on the hard times with a smile, a feeling that they weren't so bad after all.


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