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THE LAMP AT NOON AND OTHER STORIES.

Ross, Sinclair.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1988. 135pp. paper, $5.95. ISBN 0-7710-9996-7. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Floyd Spracklin

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January


The Lamp at Noon is a re-issue of the 1968 collection. Rossís insightful stories deliver a provocative mosaic of prairie life during the drought and the Depression of the 1930ís. His characters demonstrate the blind stoicism necessary to withstand the unending assault of nature. His women face the inevitability of prairie life alone, whether it be in housework, childbirth, or child-rearing. Mothers try to build an oasis for their growing children by providing music lessons and a good schooling.

The men, however, only mock their wives' futile attempts. Although often working by themselves, they also choose to remain alone, away from their wives, their companions, their families, but close to the raw forces that have shaped their lives and the face of the earth.

In "The Lamp at Noon," the title story, Ellen attempts to save her baby from the dust storm, but her husband arrives home just moments too late. As with many other Ross stories, the men are away, busy with the necessities of prairie life. The very little respite from the overpowering forces of such a life not only builds character but also makes for a most sombre look at a slice of Canadiana.


Floyd Spracklin, G.C. Rowe Junior High School Comer Brook. Nfld.
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