Thursday, 3 January 2013

To Everything There is a Season - Alistair Macleod

 Happy New Year, there!

My December was manic with with 5 lots of stay-overs during the month, a couple of surprise lunch visitors, and frankly, it was fun!  However, with loads of bedlinen to launder in between and the normal Christmas preparations, I didn't fit in much reading at all (one book only in December?  GOSH!).  So have started to dig in now, and have read today a (very) short story, taken from an anthology of the author's work but published separately and in this house as a gift.

To Everything There is a Season - Alistair Macleod
Cape Breton forms part of the province of Nova Scotia in Canada.  The northern end, joined only to Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada in 1955 by the Canso Causeway, it is indeed different, and yet tales of families united at Christmas, or Hannuka or any other festival of the kind is no different anywhere on the planet.  This short story is based on memories of Macleod's late childhood and of the homecoming of his brother from his work on the Great Lakes.  The entire book runs only to 33 pages excluding the introduction, and there are many black and white illustrations and a section "about the author".  But in this tiny book you will get a feel for Christmases long gone.  The ones without apps and iPods, central heating and cars for everyone.  The ones where hardworking parents were old before their time, and the ones where you finally acknowledged that there was no Father Christmas/Santa Claus.