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The Girl In Saskatoon Hardcover – Apr 1 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Phyllis Bruce Books; 1st Edition edition (April 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002007207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002007207
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

SHARON BUTALA is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her classic book The Perfection of the Morning was a #1 bestseller and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Fever, a short story collection, won the 1992 Authors’ Award for Paperback Fiction and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best book (Canada and Caribbean region). Butala is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the 2012 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. In 2002 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Friederike Knabe TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 11 2008
Format: Paperback
.. we don't exist at all", ponders Sharon Butala as she completes the narrative circle of this disconcerting and poignant book. Her resolve to tell Alexandra's story, as fully as she possibly can, grew over the period of forty years. Starting from an indescribable, vague curiosity about the fate of the young woman she knew as a young girl the feeling grew into a pledge and at times an obsession. In the final outcome, much more is being shared in this haunting, yet beautifully rendered "meditation on friendship, memory and murder". Comparable to her other non-fiction work, such as Perfection of the Morning: A Woman's Awaking in Nature, Butala, an award winning Canadian author, brings personal memoir, historical facts and context, and her deeply felt connection to the natural environment together in one fluidly written, moving account.

In "The Girl in Saskatoon" Butala embeds a real-life murder mystery into a sensitive, detailed portrait of two girls, Alex and herself, and their time and social environment. Uncompromisingly honest, she reflects on both their lives, comparing parallels and differences in their background and upbringing, always searching for clues that could lift the cloak of secrecy that lies over the case.

The factual details of the murder are clear as they are brutal: a twenty-three-year old nursing student, a popular beauty queen, was viciously murdered in Saskatoon on May 18 1962. Her body was found on May 30, but her killer or killers were not caught. Not only family and friends, the whole city was in shock; murders were extremely rare in Saskatchewan (and in Canada) in the early sixties. While Sharon knew Alex from school and related activities, they had not been close friends.
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Format: Paperback
The Girl in Saskatoon centres on the unsolved murder of Alexandra Wiwcharuk, who died in Saskatoon in 1961. The author, Sharon Butala, doesn't set out to solve the murder but instead takes a different approach in looking at the commonalities in her life and the life of Alexandra, who had been a childhood friend. The book was compelling. The evidence of the murder is provided but it is not the main focus of the book. Butala's writing is much like talking to an old friend. It is conversational with some twists and turns within sentences but it is all pulled together in a way that makes the book fascinating. The portrait painted of Saskatoon as a city and Saskatchewan as a province sets the stage for a murder that still remains unsolved and, while officially still an open case, closed. I really enjoyed this book and I read very little non-fiction. The focus is on the life of Alexandra allowing the author to be true to her story.
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Format: Paperback
I fail to see why this book has recieved so many positive accolades, other than for reasons of its subject matter. Butala's attempt to investigate Alex's life and death seem half-hearted at best; there are many instances where Butala admits her failure to track down important witnesses and historical data, seemingly without regard for any insight which may have been gained. There are also several significant discrepancies between the television documentary Butala refers to and her own accounts. Butala's writing, while accessible, is often amateurish and awkward. At least half the book is an account of Butala's own life, and it seems to be less about Alex's story and more about Butala herself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the true storey of a young nurse that was bruttly murdered in 1962 in the City of Saskatoon. The author relates how things were in 1962 and prior. It will bring back alot of memories to those of us that lived back then in simpler times. She expresses her life and how small town girls handled the move to the larger cities, at least to them. I think it is a well written book with some of the confusing happenings of the murder of this poor girl.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
interesting
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