“<b>The Fire-Dwellers</b>” is another of <b>Margaret Laurence's</b> famous books. I use the word “book” instead of “novel” because it entailed a weird approach that was a stream of Stacey's thoughts, instead of a clear plot and goal. Events follow a chronology but we observe a scattering of thoughts at first. Thereafter; action, dialogue, and the narration take on the recognizable shape of a story that we follow more easily. Indeed, my investment rose when the progression of a plot appeared.
<b>Margaret</b>, our revered authoress from Neepawa, Manitoba: lived in Africa with her husband, Jack, when they married; an engineer. Their homeland featured afterwards. These present characters from a town standing in for Neepawa but are unrelated; even though this and <i>“A Jest Of God”</i>, pertain to sisters. However, Rachel remained in Manawaka and Stacey settled in Vancouver; marrying and mothering. I was sure I could look forward to a sequel but this is about Stacey's brood. Her husband for example, argues about how to handle their middle children: an agitated boy rejecting a younger one. Their fourteen year-old is a responsible girl of 1969. Jen is two, thus Stacey can seldom go out.
With a common scene on the cover of climbing into a car and for example, not liking to tell her reverend Father-in-law that they aren't religious; I love <b>Margaret's</b> ordinary household. I cheered when she dared to find pleasure later. All conversation and inner thoughts forge ahead without quotations marks, much less any “she said, he said” that many authors interpose unnecessarily. Impatient readers might bail out before this book hits its stride. We route for Stacey and her family later. Excitement revs up that engrosses us more and more. Three stars own up to a slow start but please know that a worthwhile, many-layered story surfaces.