The Douglas Notebooks: A Review

The Douglas Notebooks: A Review

This article first appeared in the July 2013 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.
Life in Quebec Magazine is a lifestyle publication covering the Quebec region and is published at least 3 times per year.
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Review by Pamela Burns

Author: Christine Eddie translated by Sheila Fischman
ISBN 978-0-86492-619-7
Published by Goose Lane Editions
Price: $19.95

Nature’s profound beauty. The healing silence of the forest.  The wrenching tragedy of lives of lack and violence intersecting with those of excess and exacting expectations. Delicately crafted and carefully revealed, this is the world of Christine Eddie’s ‘’The Douglas Notebooks’’.

Romain, later renamed Douglas, a privileged but haunted young man, chooses self- imposed  forest exile as far away as possible from his unloving ,indifferent family and their ever expanding empire.  Élena , a strong and beautiful child hurtled out into the world too young, robbed of her loving mother surviving despite a brutally violent father, her childhood ‘’like an invisible and peaceful chameleon, apparently obedient but in a constant state of alert.’’

These two unlikely souls ultimately forge a magical, passionate life in the woods sharing secrets and dreams with only passing acknowledgement by necessity to the rest of society.  Their love child Rose, in turn, brings drama, tolerance, tenderness and growth by weaving into yet other lives like the meandering roots of the book’s so loved Tamarack tree. Tamarack is known for its toughness, flexibility, the infection-healing properties of its bark and its resistance to decay across time and changing conditions.  It is a fitting emblem for Eddie’s remarkable work here skillfully translated into English from the original French by Sheila Fischman.

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