A small B.C. town feels too small for Sheila now that she's growing up. She wants to finish school, but her mother needs her to quit school and start working to help support the family. Her mother has been supporting the family single-handedly since Sheila's father has been fighting in World War II - and even before then, it wasn't easy. Sheila also has been starting to spend a lot of time with a local boy, and her mother doesn't approve of that, either. Sheila desperately just wants to have a life of her own and be her own person, but she will have to struggle through a number of things in order to find her way.
I think what cinched picking up this novel for me was Mary Razzell's dedication to Carol Shields, who is one of my all-time favourite writers. This was a very interesting look at two women (one a teenager, one a mother) living in a time that wasn't very kind to women, especially in rural areas. The path that Sheila takes sometimes made me want to step in for her own good (especially as she got more serious with Nils), but I think the journey she was on (as terrifying as it was at times) was one that will make her a stronger (fictional) person in the (fictional) future. The edition I read was a 2006 reprint of the 1980s original, and I'm really glad that this book was repackaged for a new audience.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
A Very Fine Line by Julie Johnston
Runaway at Sea by Mary Razzell
Funny How Things Change by Melissa Wyatt
Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont