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Cook, Lyn.

Camden East (Ont.), Camden House Publishing, c1966, 1984. 235pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-920656-30-7. Distributed by Firefly.

Grades 4-7
Reviewed by Barbara Conquest

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

This reprint of the Lyn Cook classic (originally published in 1966) is designed to appeal to a new generation of readers. Although the merit of the book and the writing have not changed, the tastes of young readers have. It is doubtful this story, which weaves together the lives of Cousin John Alex (later better known as Sir John A. Macdonald), the well-to-do and slightly rebellious daughter of the "Laird of Napanee," and an orphaned young girl, will claim the enthusiastic reception accorded it by earlier readers who were more avid readers of historical fiction.

Readers who do enjoy this genre, however, will be rewarded for their persistance in plowing through a lot of historical detail by an interesting story, replete with coincidences, which provides an accurate picture of life in the 1830's in an Ontario backwoods settlement. Ontario readers may view the house in which the heroine, Jenrietta, lived (Allan Macpherson House and Park, Napanee, Ontario).

Modern children will no doubt be shocked by the subservience exhibited by all characters to the head of the household, an occasionally-benevolent despot.

Barbara Conquest, D.S. MacKenzie J.H.S., Edmonton, Alta.
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