Book 3, Children of My Heart (1977) – Gabrielle Roy
From the publisher:
“Set in the prairies in the 1930s, and rich with the author’s own memories of her time there as a young woman, this is a powerful story of an impressionable and passionate young teacher and the pupils, from impoverished immigrant families, whose lives she touches. Children of My Heart bears unforgettable testimony to the healing power love exerts on the wounds of loneliness and poverty.”
I decided that after two Anglophone men, it might be nice to change it up a bit, so Book #3 will be Children of My Heart by Gabrielle Roy (in translation of course–my French is pretty terrible). This book won the GG for French literature in 1977.
I’ve started a bookring for this book. If you’re interested in joining, PM me.
Only two chapters in, and I’m loving it. It’s kind of like James Herriot’s stories, except the focus is on children instead of animals, & the narrator could be Esther from Bleak House (she taught school before going to Mr J’s right?)–so far anyway. The narrator’s character isn’t really developed yet.
Very tender and sweet. Just the right thing after the two previous books, which were quite serious.
The quotes from the critics call it: ‘poignant’, ‘intense’, ‘rare’, elegaic’, ‘graceful’, ‘filled with a homely wisdom’, ‘healing’, ‘tender’, ‘warm’, ‘charming’. So far, I’d agree with them.
I just finished part two. Lovely little book about a young school teacher in Manitoba around the time of the Depression. It’s a series of vignettes, each focusing on a different child. Each one touches the narrator in a different way and in the telling of their stories, we get to see a picture of the hard yet beautiful life on the Canadian prairie. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something light and touching.
Stayed up to finish this last night. I’m giving it a 10. Beautiful descriptions of the prairie, insights into human nature (especially into childhood). A real evocation of time and place. It made me cry (a few times in public I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Roy’s work. I’m not surprised that she’s such a well-beloved writer.