Thursday, March 1, 2012
Dinner with Lisa by R L Prendergast
Publisher: Dekko Publishing
Source: Book Tour
Joseph Gaston is a recent widow, trying to raise four children during disastrous economic times. After the roaring twenties came the dirty thirties, and the economy was hit hard, Canada was largely affected as well. Joseph is encouraged to split up his children amongst family to help ease his burden. He knows that would break his heart, and he packs up his children in search of employment. Joseph and his four children board a train from Ontario to Alberta. His brother and sister-in-law welcome him to a small town in Alberta. Joseph is hoping that Philibuster will give him the financial security that he needs for his children. His childless sister-in-law has agreed to take care of his children during the day, and she is ecstatic to have her home filled with children. Joseph arrives hopeful and excited; unfortunately the job that he had secured before he left has been given to someone else and Joseph is crushed. He clings to the memory of his wife, and the hope that he can survive with the help of family.
I’m always intrigued by Canadian history, and I was happy to have a chance to review this book. I had no idea that I would enjoy this novel as thoroughly as I did. The characters were fantastically written and developed. Each secondary character had a great storyline. The economic times were historically accurate and very well portrayed. History focuses on the facts; literature transports you to a time and place. Readers begin to live the lives of those people in those situations. A well written historical novel has readers enjoying the ride, and unknowingly learning the facts.
Joseph’s situation is dire, and his brother is very nonchalant. They made a great pair, Henri thought the world of his brother and always had faith that we would get through anything. Henri and Tilda were happy to help with the children, but Tilda has her own motives. She’s always wanted to be a mother and she would love to take Joseph’s children to raise as her own. Joseph must work to gain his children’s attention.
Prendergast has created a great Canadian historical read; he paints a bleak picture of the economic depression with flawed characters and vivid descriptions. The story doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, but reads very well. The story is perfectly paced, filled with many twists and turned. I highly recommend this one; I really enjoyed each and every page.