Written by Mary Razzell
Publication Date January 24, 2006
While the rest of the world anticipates a victorious end to the Second World War, sixteen-year-old Sheila Brary finds life in a remote British Columbia outport suffocating and isolating. A household full of brothers, a philandering father and, most of all, Sheila's embittered mother all stand in the way of a bright, beautiful teenager with ambitions and dreams -- to continue her schooling and become a nurse.
The mother-daughter relationship that lies at the heart of this haunting novel is both timeless and complex, and the two strong, rebellious women are more alike than they care to admit. One has succumbed to the demands of a sexist age with resentment, while the other struggles to break away. In the end, Sheila defies her mother by pursuing a romance with Nels, a handsome local carpenter. But when she becomes pregnant, she turns to her father for help, with devastating results.
Mary Razzell is the author of several young adult novels, including Night Fires, Salmonberry Wine, nominated for the Sheila Egoff and Geoffrey Bilson awards, White Wave, also nominated for the Sheila Egoff, and the Runaway at Sea. Snow Apples, her first novel, was nominated for a Governor General's Award when it was first published in 1984. A nurse by training, Mary now divides her time between Vancouver and British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.
"Rivalry, anger, love, and friendship drive the plot, and rooted in character, the action springs from family secrets that surprise the reader until the very last page." Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"...so redolent of British Columbia's southern coast that one can almost hear the salal grow...A sensitively written story of a girl...forced to personal acts of courage by the social inequality of the time." Quill & Quire
"...a quiet, introspective novel...For mature, thoughtful readers, it will inspire discussions of the struggle of women in recent history." School Library Journal
"...as long as angst and longing are the predominant features of young adulthood, this story will remain timeless." Calgary Herald
"A grittily honest and compassionate novel..." Michele Landsberg
"This thought-provoking and powerful Canadian young adult novel merits attention...It is highly recommended for adolescent readers." CM Magazine