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So Few on Earth: A Labrador Métis Woman Remembers Paperback – Oct 4 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 4 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554887097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554887095
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #309,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Josephine Mildred Curl Penny grew up in Labrador during the 1940s and 1950s. Like many Métis, she and her family lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle, moving inside to the primitive settlement of Roaches Brook each fall to hunt and trap, and outside to Spotted Islands in the spring to harvest the rich fishing grounds.

Sent away to hospital at age four, to boarding school when she was seven, and forced out to work at age eleven, Josie lost the family bond so important to a young child. She recounts the years spent at Lockwood Boarding School where she suffered atrocious punishments, merciless teasing, and the humiliation of two rapes. The depersonalization and constant punishment eventually took their toll, and her once free-spirited nature was broken. Reading became her only escape.

Set against the beauty and ruggedness of the Labrador coast, So Few on Earth is a story of perseverance in a harsh environment and the possibility of life starting anew from shattered beginnings.

About the Author

Josie Penny was born in Roaches Brook, Labrador, to Métis parents, in 1943. While attending writing courses at McMaster University in Hamilton, she was encouraged to seek out a publisher for her memoir. Josie pushed ahead with the idea, enrolling in computer courses, participating in several writing seminars, and earning a certificate from the Long Ridge Writers Group in Connecticut. She lives in Dunnville, Ontario.

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Most helpful customer reviews

By James Cain on March 3 2011
Format: Paperback
A beautiful colourful history of early 20th century Labrador.
Very casual and informative on Josie's early life story,gave me a feeling of being there with her.
Very open with her strong positive and sometimes negative feelings about controversial and private issues-
I particularily identified with her time at the dorm-I also spent 4 years at an IGA dorm,and experienced the same empty loneliness and hurt emotions of being away from community,friends and espicially family-a very strong sense of loss.
Way to go Josie I loved your book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I come from the time frame in this book and was exposed, as a child, to so many hurtful comments about native aboriginals/metis and their terrible living situations and am always looking for credible first hand accounts of that era. This book gave me what I feel is the truth about just how bad the situation was. I felt that it also exposed the real reasons for the poverty, that at that time it wasn't any ones fault but rather, it was circumstance of the time when you lived so far from civilization. More importantly this book gave me a real story of survival against all odds and the ability of the human psyche to survive. I am in awe of the author and her ability to be so open, to tell the truth as she sees it, and her ability to move on with her family in tact.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
So Few On Earth, by Josie Penny Jan. 8 2011
By Wendy - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a MUST read, I've read a lot of books and this is one of the very best!!!