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Ethel Wilson.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1982.
276pp, paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-7710-9316-0.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

In The Innocent Traveller, Ethel Wilson, the author of Hetty Dorval (Macmillan, 1947) and Swamp Angel (Macmillan, 1954), presents twenty-eight interrelated, short, humorous stories that chronicle the century-long life of her heroine, Topaz. It is a lively life and an equally lively book written in eloquent prose that borders at times on poetry. Indeed, the author's concern with style and characterization, rather than plot and theme, make this comedy of manners unique on today's book menu. In presenting Topaz's childish antics, her teenage fantasies, her adult escapades, and her senior flights of fancy, Wilson has built a memorable character who should find a lasting place in Canadian fiction. Topaz is the innocent traveller, and The Innocent Traveller is truly a topaz.

This work of art is highly recommended as personal leisure reading for those looking for light-hearted humour. It is also recommended for school libraries and curriculum lists for schools offering courses in Canadian Literature.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S. H. S., Summerside, PEI.
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