September 14, 2021
First of all, I love almost any book that is set in Newfoundland. It is my happy place, after having visited it almost 40 times. Secondly, Donna Morrissey has authored several novels which I really liked. Now, she has released her memoir about growing up in Newfoundland. This is an automatic must-read for me.
At the start, I was a little worried. It was quite philosophical and reflective in the beginning. I thought this might be the tone of the whole book. I wanted the nitty gritty of her life with her family. She soon took me there.
Life in Newfoundland in the 1950s and early 1960s was not easy. Modern conveniences had not yet reached the island, everybody knew what hard work was. Yet this hard work was all they knew and gave the people the character they have. Such was the life in Donna’s house. She writes about it with candour. Some of it is funny. There is tragedy, sometimes not easily overcome.
Some parts of the book are very serious. They may be disturbing to some. They evoked empathy in me. She shows how the human psyche can be fragile, but also that strength can be regained. The reader experiences some dark moments with the author, through her mental and physical health issues. And, then, with her mother’s battle with cancer. It is raw and emotional. Ms. Morrissey writes from her heart.
I enjoyed the family photos that were included at the end of the book. It was great to match up a face to the name.