rarely spoke of her origins, Tom thought that by filling her wander books with talismanic bits and pieces, she might be celebrating the miracle of having been rescued from the ice.” Aurora
Thus a young husband watching his wife record her wanderings around their lighthouse home at Cape Race in
Ice is always a player in these wanderings, a threatening presence. Stan, aware of it throughout his childhood, chooses to make ice his life’s work. There are some lyrical passages about the sight and sound of ice and even the smell of it. Another constant is the folklore of
The unifying thread, though, is that of wandering. Throughout we are aware of the passage of ships backwards and forwards, the passage of the ice. Stan’s trip to Antarctica reminds of the lines of latitude and longitude, imagined lines on the globe, while the story of Marconi’s message sent from
This is a book of considerable beauty. It spans 80 years effortlessly, the timelines crossing – wanderings again – without confusion: we always know exactly where we are because, lyrical though it may be, it is nonetheless firmly rooted in the everyday, and the lives of the Newfoundlanders whose story it tells. It’s made an excellent start, for me, to the Canadian Book Challenge.