Canada Day!

Canada Day!
Canada Day!

Today is Canada Day – the national day of Canada – my adoptive land. It’s a country I feel a real affinity to and always celebrate the day – usually by making some home made poutine (chips and gravy with cheese curds) but it’s never the same.

And I’ve been back to Canada so many times I’ve lost count Well a ticket there only costs the price of a book or the use of a library ticket if you travel via fiction!

So for this Independent Book Week, I thought it was apt to buy a book set in Canada. Well, that was the intention. I ended up buying a few… and even went to places I hadn’t been before. This is the one I wanted to read first, and so this is my IBW2014 choice for Canada Day, eh!

Cool Water is useful in the desert environment...
Cool Water is useful in the desert environment…

Think Canada is all snow and vast urban landscapes? 

There is a very interesting and unique place, not perhaps known to as many people outside of Canada as within, but one which totally surprised me and lead me to buy a book as so much I wanted to go back there.


The mysterious ' desert' sands of Saskatchewan
(A) Moose Jaw, (B) Medecine Hat (C) The mysterious ‘ desert’ sands of Saskatchewan between Winnipeg and Calgary

Setting – Juliet, Saskatchewan – may be fictional yet  a character study of the people and the setting of a small prairie town in Western Canada.

Set amongst the sand hills in Saskatchewan yes that’s right -there is like a mini desert right in the middle of what assume to be a cold country. Well, I was as shocked as the next person – particularly as I had just passed through a place called Moose Jaw. Oh and after the sand hills, we passed through another town called Medicine Hat. (Does JK Rowling know about this? I feel this could appear in another HP story if she ever returns to the series) Already I liked the area-

The setting

Inspired by the area of  the Little Snake sand hills Saskatchewan and possibly even Swift Current, Saskatchewan, it really does seem to paint a broad picture of prairie life and the weird and wonderful facets of human nature. How does nature and environment affect the people who live in a chosen spot?

This book is a look at the people who live in the small and fictional town of Juliet. Apt that the town has a human name for it’s almost a character in itself. The story flows from one character to the next, the stories blending into each other – much like the sand on the sand hills themselves. Yet each small grain is important and together forms an interesting, larger picture.

The sand hills are made up of many different types of grains – some are sad such as the middle aged couple or the wife of the bank manager who realises after his death just what she has lost.

Other stories are light heartened and humorous but still retain the sense of poignancy that runs through the book. Every character is complex but as the book cover a little over 24 hours then the focus on them is tight and like a spotlight bringing every little detail into focus.

Fancy a trip to Canada like no other?

Take some Cool Water for the heat of Saskatchewan….