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A Book of Kells: Growing Up in an Ego Void
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A Book of Kells: Growing Up in an Ego Void [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Kell Virany
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

In the thick of World War I, Kathleen Ward, a city girl from Portsmouth, England meets Jack Kell, a farm boy from Cookstown, Canada, over a cup of tea. Long after Jack has sailed off, and is just about to go far north as a Methodist missionary, they begin writing to each other. The correspondence is a life raft of purity, innocence and hope after the trauma of the war. They vow always to be best friends, have a fitful courtship, fall in love, get married and plunge into preposterous adventures on a northern Manitoba aboriginal reservation. Margaret weaves a masterful story out of letters, journals and photos left in her mother's keepsake box. She then gives a vivid account of the other-worldly expectations put on a preacher's kid in her growing-up years. This book of love is wrapped in the theme of ancient monks who copied and illuminated the holy scriptures. Similarly, generations of this devout family with the same name strove to illustrate the gospels by the way they lived their daily lives.

About the Author

Margaret Kell Virany is the child of a World War I Canadian sailor and his British warbride. She is one of the pioneer generation of ministers' children in the United Church of Canada, formed by a union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 1925. A student of Professor Northrop Frye, she received a B.A. in English Language & Literature at Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1955. Her employment life included serving as Media Relations Officer for the Metropolitan Toronto YMCA and National Council of YMCAs, and as editor of the Aylmer (Québec) Bulletin. She has written two books and edited a third.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 365 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0969914210
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Virany&Virany; Third edition (Sept. 21 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00440DQNA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book of Kells Nov. 11 2010
Margaret Kell Virany tells in superb writing style almost a century of her family story, notable that of her mother Kathleen, a courageous British women who made immense personal sacrifices, left everything behind - family, friends and way of life - to follow her husband in 1927, as (probably) the last war bride from WWI.

War brides, moved thousands of miles away - usually to Canadian cities, villages and farms - joining their husband, a man they barely knew. But Kathleen's future husband, a minister, worked and lived on an extremely remote reservation in Canada's wilderness close to Hudson Bay in Canada's North.

It is a fascinating social history, describing challenges and details of pioneer life on this Northern reserve and struggle in a minister's family, by using old love letters, photographs and diaries of her parents.

Many touching stories and exciting details include canoe trips along the old fur trade route, generous native neighbors, a dangerous journey to hospital in mid-winter on a horse drawn toboggan to deliver her baby, life-threatening forest fires, pre-television social life and her daughters friendship with Tim (Miles) Horton, the later famous NHL star.

I red "A Book of Kells" with great pleasure, almost non-stop, it is a real page turner and I highly recommend it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Search for Ego's and Souls March 4 2012
By Diane - Published on
This is a wonderfully personal tale of one family that sweeps through Canadian history from the 1800's onwards. The descriptions of the ordinary details of life, as well as the big events and traditions, puts the reader into every scene. But the strength of the story is a grown woman searching her family's past for an understanding of her parents' and her egos and souls. Its a both a historical and a psychological story interwoven masterfully into one riveting seamless tale.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slice of Canadian History March 5 2012
By Sigrid Macdonald - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Book of Kells is a fascinating account of the early lives of the author's parents - how they met, the nature of their courtship, and what they did with their lives before and after they had children. Margaret Kell's father, John, was a farmer turned minister. Her mother came from England and together they became missionaries of sorts, being one of the first people - if not the first - to bring the Word and the Bible to the Cree Indians. These parents were strict and devout, living through the Great Depression and the days of the milkman's wagon.

The book is a wonderful historical account of hard-working, devoted Canadians, with powerful scenes such as the parents kayaking and logging for 40 miles in the brutally cold northern Manitoba wind: so cold that the father's nose froze.

It is also a work of candor. Margaret tells it like it is. She is very straightforward talking about relationships, feelings, and her own adult beliefs about religion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Memoir-Honest And Erudite March 24 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is a moving memoir of a personal journey of a grown woman who wished to reconstruct, examine and understand what exactly was the relationship and love her parents shared between themselves and in turn were able to bequeath to their children and the community to which they belonged. It lovingly reconstructs without passing judgement how the parents met in England, what prompted them to move to Canada. It details a period in History in a first person account of someone who had lived through the turmoil of the war and was thus better able to give a dispassionate account
of events in Europe and their repercussions abroad. The descriptions were vivid as they were witnessed. The settings especially the one where her Mother accuses her Father of neglecting her and taking her for granted, the breakdown and then an attempt at reconciliation will remain forever etched in my mind. Has the Author been able to forgive her Father for neglecting her Mother?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different and interesting July 16 2012
By BRENDA - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another book written from letters. Enjoyed this book and the historical background is always intriguing to me.Learned much about early Canada and their natives. Recommend this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating story May 11 2012
By MJ - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The story was romantic and unique, and definitely worth reading. It made you want to learn more about the characters. The book could be improved with some editing and perhaps some work on fleshing out the story and developing the characters a little more.
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