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Thomas, Peter.

Porters Lake (N.S.). Pottersfleld Press. 1987. 166pp. cloth. $14.95, ISBN 0-919001-39-4. Distributed by Pottersfield Press. RR2, Porters Lake, N.S, B0J 2S0. CIP

Reviewed by Ingrid vonHausen

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

Thomas, former editor of Fiddlehead, author of four other books, and publisher of Goose Lane Editions, also teaches at the University of New Brunswick. Research for Strangers from a Secret Land: The Voyages of the Brig Albion and the Founding of the First Welsh Settlements in Canada,* an account of early Welsh emigration to Canada, led to this novel.

Set in Wales, The Welsher is a bizarre tale of people at cross purposes. The novel is told from the point of view of Anthony, a former native of Glantawe, and his cousin's wife, Marjorie. When Marjorie's husband dies (from hanging), Anthony returns to his parents' house for the funeral. As the story progresses, Marjorie convinces herself and everyone else, except Anthony who knows better, that the child she is carrying and later delivers is Anthony's. We never do find out why the cousin hanged himself, how Anthony gets to Canada, or how he ends up a recluse in the wilds of Canada.

Were this TV, reader discretion would be advised. This is definitely for adult readers, although there is not much explicit sex or objectionable language. Young people will be baffled by the adult entanglements and confused by the story-line. On the positive side, Thomas writes well. He handles the two distinctive narrative voices with convincing skill. The characters are believable. In spite of their bizarre actions.

Ingrid vonHausen, New Hamburg, Ont.

*Reviewed vol. XV/3 May 1987 p. 120.

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