Tuesday, November 9, 2010
A letter from a school teacher regarding SARA, a Canadian Saga
I received the following critique today from my niece who just happens to be a school teacher. I'm very happy to share it with readers of my blog. From my heart, thank you, Karen (hugs).
I just finished reading "Sara." I would have read it sooner, but have this strange desire to read my books in the order I receive them, lol.
I took the book to work with me where I was teaching a grade 7 class. The children were directed to write about a time when they or someone they knew, demonstrated perseverance. I held up the book and used "Sara" as an example of a woman who demonstrated perseverance. I also spoke to the fact that the author demonstrated this quality in her determination to have her story published. You would not believe the response from these kids - many wanted to know if they could get it at Chapters. This story is uniquely Canadian and should be marketed to adolescents as part of their Canadian heritage. "Sara" is a narrative that figures in the histories of Canadian families everywhere. I will be passing this on to my son!
The line that cracked me up and drew me in for good:
"Their mother set the steaming bowls of vegetables in the centre of the large, old, wooden table that no amount of wax and polish could dignify." (p. 11)
I won't over-analyze why this struck me as hilarious, it just did. What sad, sad state Rebecca was in over her table, lol. This table is a silent witness to generations of love, hope, fear, strife, courage, ignorance and finally, understanding. What a beautiful metaphor for an old scratched up, banged around history that none of us can escape and our fear of endlessly repeating it.
Thank-you for inviting us to the table.