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Children of My Heart [Paperback]

Gabrielle Roy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.00
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Book Description

Sept. 18 2000 0771075987 978-0771075988 Trade pbk. movie tie-in ed
Set in the prairies in the 1930s, and rich with the author’s own memories of her time there as a young woman, this is a powerful story of an impressionable and passionate young teacher and the pupils, from impoverished immigrant families, whose lives she touches. Children of My Heart bears unforgettable testimony to the healing power love exerts on the wounds of loneliness and poverty.

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Children of My Heart + Paper Shadows + They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
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Children of My Heart, which won Gabrielle Roy her third Governor General's Award, was her last major novel. This curious book provides a rare glimpse into the ethnically jumbled slums and villages of Depression-era Manitoba, but is occasionally marred by a glut of sentimentality. A thinly disguised memoir of Roy's days as a primary school teacher, the novel is a series of more-or-less disconnected vignettes of her students. All of Roy's subjects face terrors far beyond their comprehension: language barriers, dire economic pressure, familial abuse. Nonetheless, they all manage to maintain their childhood innocence and to distinguish themselves in one way or another. One hitherto undistinguished Ukrainian child develops an extraordinary singing voice and is encouraged to perform at senior citizens' homes and psychiatric institutions, while another Russian child, whose siblings have never been able to succeed at school because of their intensive labour at their family tannery, reveals a great gift for elegant penmanship. This is the kind of stuff that generally makes for drearily maudlin feel-good fiction, but fortunately Roy's talent is such that her narratives are far more than treacle. Those who welcome naiveté in their reading will be enchanted by Children of My Heart, but the tough, bitter realism of Roy's classic The Tin Flute is not to be found here. --Jack Illingworth


“Gabrielle Roy has never written anything as passionate, as troubling…how far she has come, to the heart’s most hidden recesses.”
–Gilles Marcotte, Le Devoir

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too moving for words. March 12 2013
A wonderful retrospective of a young rural teacher's first experiences. Inspirational & enlightening with a giddy and yet solemn reverence to her memories. A most delightful book! I will now purchase it for several of my friends and family.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Canadiana story April 3 2014
By Nancy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the anecdotal stories and learned some history. It somewhat reminded me of my early schooling in a rural setting. I am guessing this was written in French and then translated since some of the wording was very old fashioned. It was a quick read. I did shed a tear at the end, so it was quite touching.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Schoolteacher's Heart June 26 2009
By LH422 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A novel of a young teacher in the depression-era prairies, Roy tells the stories of children from the desperately poor families of rural Manitoba. The stories are told by the protagonist, a young, unnamed teacher, who teaches at an isolated village school. Roy presents children heavily laden with the burdens of poverty, adult concerns, and adult responsibilities. It quickly becomes clear what a significant role a caring young teacher plays in the lives of these children. In many cases she is the only adult who has the luxury to treat her pupils as children. The protagonist retains youthful enthusiasm in the most trying of circumstances, until she is faced with a new kind of trial: a budding romance with a troubled teenage student. Mederic, the son of a distant father and an absent mother, is desperately in need of attention, and his young teacher is desperately in need of companionship. When she tries to reach Mederic's mind a clear affection develops between them, and this budding relationship offers few good solutions. Roy's novel is rife with sadness, but also with a sense of persistence. The desperate poverty of the 1930s immigrant prairie communities is brought into stark relief by Roy's prose; written in a lyrical style, she paints a dramatic picture.
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