My Canadian Week

23 Oct

I had a sad moment last week. I was sitting in a conference room with seven other 6th grade teachers and I realized I was the only one who knew, and cared, that Gord Downie, lead singer of the Canadian band The Tragically Hip, had died.

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I don’t feel foreign very often, but I did that day. I felt a little alone in that room.

Later in the week, while reading That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E. K. Johnston, I felt like I had insider information.

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Much of the story is set in Muskoka, where my sister has lived for almost 30 years. I laughed out loud at parts that American readers will not see as funny. I felt smugly superior, even though I was home alone. You don’t need a Canadian background to find the book witty and engaging. You simply get to enjoy it at an even deeper level, if you are.

Publisher’s Summary: Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history. The imperial tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage. But before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer of freedom and privacy in a far corner of empire. Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process.

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved not by the cost of blood and theft but by the effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

 

3 Responses to “My Canadian Week”

  1. Lisa Corbett October 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    I felt the same, only in reverse. I have lived in Canada for 16 years. But I keep thinking, “Who is this guy everyone is so sad about?” There’s a Twitter hashtag #teachlikegord and I just don’t get it.

    • Adrienne October 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      He & I are the same age. The band was just starting when I was in university and hit it big just as I started teaching. They, and Gord Downie, were important parts of my young adulthood. In fact, when I moved to Colombia, their album, Road Apples, was one of the cassettes I packed.

  2. bevbaird October 23, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

    We have watched several specials now about Gord – the last on Sunday about the Secret Path. It was definitely a shock when news came that he died. I thought he had it beat. Although I was not a huge fan, I respected his genius and his lyrics.

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