After the Fire

Jane Rule, Author Naiad Press $8.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-941483-45-2
In this fluid, often witty novel set on a small rural island off the coast of Vancouver, five solitary women at different stages in life learn how to function alone as well as together. Canadian-Japanese Karen, who has left her lesbian lover of eight years, befriends Red, a young woman with an unknown background who cleans houses for three others--acrid Milly, divorced by her husband after a 20-year marriage; Henrietta, whose husband is institutionalized in Vancouver; and Miss James, an eccentric, elderly spinster. Birth, illness and death follow one another, uniting the five independent and incisively drawn protagonists. ``All that time I was trying to teach you how to live alone and really take care of yourself, I was teaching myself, too,'' Henrietta tells Red. The resulting warmth is not saccharine but realistic, as Rule ( Memory Board ) illuminates the vagaries and pain of abandonment and loss, and the fragile joy of new bonds. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Ebook - 238 pages - 978-1-4804-2946-8
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