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Customer Review

on December 26, 2016
I recently discovered this girl-empowering series in which various authoresses pen tableaux in the contexts of Canadian events. Spanning any number of civilized eras and always highlighting a school age heroine: it really is poignant to imagine how our ancestors felt in the true-to-life situations that make the backdrops of these history vignettes. The aftermath of the Halifax disaster was treated so compassionate and memorably, I was game for more. I immediately learned something from <b>Kathy Stinson</b>, who started this quartet in 2001: that Montréal used to be "one of the filthiest cities in North America" and she pulls no punches in showing us why!

From the time of foreign settlement, our cities have always had Anglophone and Francophone quarters and anywhere in our world, there have been rich and poor. The second starling fact I gleaned is that Montréal's working class were poor! They weren't thieves lumbering about but employed community, folks who attended church and conducted themselves honestly! They made do with so little and stepped around the refuse that no sanitation crew could manage, because new immigrants regularly challenged their population. Formal history seldom sticks with anyone but history buffs because it is the recitation of facts. "<b>Dark Spring</b>", however, presents how one family must have felt. Feelings, we relate to and appreciate starkly.

In 1885, with smallpox mounting, families barely fed sick babies and working men a slice of bread per meal. Ten year-old Marie-Claire demonstrates the hardship of her father's convalescence from an injury, reducing precious wages. School was postponed to assume her mother's work, while her mother made shirts for a store. I appreciated this glimpse because this family was loving. I cannot abide stereotyped tales of suppression by strict parties. In time of flood, they insisted upon housing their lower-floor neighbours with them.

In January 1998, Québecers and nearby provinces dealt with a dangerous, long power outage with this spirit. I think of them as an ice storm heads towards them now, in December 2016.
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