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ALEXANDRE: A SAGA OF NORTHERN ONTARIO, BOOK ONE.

Brodeur, Helene.

Winnipeg. Watson & Dwyer. 1983. 254pp. paper. $12.95, ISBN 0-9204S6-10-X.

ROSE-DELIMA: A SAGA OF NORTHERN ONTARIO, BOOK TWO.

Brodeur, Helene.

Winnipeg. Watson & Dwyer. 1987. 210pp. paper. $12.95. ISBN 0-920486-20-7. CIP

Adult/Secondary
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November


We think of pioneers as people who lived in the 1800ís. In these books we see that there were more than a few of them left at the beginning of this century. These two easy-to-read novels have a sense of history about them that shows both the author's research and the hardships faced by people who settled in northern Ontario.

Alexandre is the story of young Alexandre Sellier who travels from his home in Saint Amelia of the Valley to look for his missing brother. Along the way he meets Rose Brent, a young English girl who has come to northern Ontario to live with her brother. Rose, in her naivety, married a man with a beautiful voice and a drinking problem. She works hard and makes the best of a bad situation but when she meets Alex she cannot keep herself from loving him. This love produces a child although Alex does not know this. By the time the child is born, Alex has returned home, having discovered that his brother was murdered.

Rose-Delima picks up about fifteen years after Alexandre leaves off. There are many new characters but these are intertwined with those who remain from the first book. The book's title is taken from the name of a young girl who is named after Rose Brent. Rose-Delima develops a warm and caring relationship with Donald. Rose's son. However, there are numerous other characters who add variety to the story.

The characters in these novels are not as fully developed as they could be. For example, one would like to know more about how Rose is driven to have the best possible future for her son. This fault should not keep these books from being an interesting addition to a general collection, however. Perhaps this trilogy (there is one more book to come) will do for northern Ontario what James Michener's did for Hawaii.


Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Cree School Board, Chisasibi, James Bay, Que.
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