Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Loggers' Daughters

It is 1983. On the streets of Vancouver women's libbers are marching. In the forests of the northern interior a tapped out logging contractor is slowly going broke. Down the road, on a small stump ranch, Adare and Dave Wilkins face the fact that they have given the best years of their lives to a farm that can never support them. In a tumultuous time, when ancient values are being put to the test and found wanting, a scattered family is forced into an uneasy proximity by the need to make end-of-life decisions for their dying mother. Exploring the forces that shape individuals, families and communities Loggers' Daughters weaves the story of one logging family onto the tapestry of the industry that built British Columbia.

Paperback, 249 pages
Published October 31st 2013 by Oolichan Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I was pretty excited to start this read as it takes place in Canada and was written by a Canadian author and I love to discover new authors from my own country.

This story was not quite what I expected nor did it really live up to the synopsis that was provided.  In order to provide some constructive criticism I would recommend changing the synopsis of the book to better reflect the storyline.  For example, it mentions making end of life decisions for their dying mother as a central point of the story.  This happens at the beginning of the book.  I also think the title of the book misrepresents the story as the story focuses around Adare who is only one daughter.  The story does venture briefly towards her daughter towards the end of the book however not enough to justify the books title in my opinion.

This was a slow read.  The first three quarters of the book were slow before finally picking up towards the end.  It was confusing in parts as I found the transition between the present and the reminiscing of the past was not very clean and obvious.  I found myself re-reading sentences numerous times as I could not tell where the story went or I thought I had missed a page.  This impacted my ability to enjoy the read.

The above points aside, once you got past these items the story did eventually peak my interest towards the end.  For those that can get through the beginning they are rewarded.  It profiles the life of the families of loggers in British Columbia and their hardships.  It also takes us on a journey towards healing as the character's, mainly Adare, comes to terms with her demons and the skeletons in her families closet.

All in all I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book I just wish that it was not so much work for me.

About the Author

Maureen Brownlee (1960- ) was born and raised on the western slope of the northern Rockies in British Columbia, Canada.

A former journalist, she has been writing fiction since childhood. Her writing education has included workshops at Island Mountain School of the Arts, Fernie Writers Conference and Sage Hill Writing Experience. She also studied English, History and Creative Writing at B.C.'s Open University and the University of Northern British Columbia. Early short stories were published in The Collective Consciousness (Winnipeg Writers Collective). She also had a near miss with a postcard short story that was shortlisted in the annual Writers Union contest.

When not writing, Maureen gardens, growing much of her own food, runs for the fun of it, dabbles at the guitar and pencil sketching, and reads, reads, reads. She lives on a farm near Valemount, British Columbia.

Twitter:  BrownleeMaureen

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