Sara: A Canadian Saga

Written by Audrey Austin

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This novel of historical fiction begins in the maritime provinces in Canada in 1916. It features two protagonists Sara and Roy, who are both age ten at the time. The reader experiences their struggles as children determined to succeed in troubled families whose lives are complicated further by the Depression years. Roy vows to “make something of himself”: Sara works hard to be an independent woman able to support herself.

When Sara and Roy meet and fall in love, circumstances will force them into the same unhappy lives that plagued their parents. Sara’s father is broken by the loss of his business; Luke loses his mother and detests his father’s remarriage. After Roy and Sara marry, the economy will turn sour, Luke loses one job after another. Sara gives up her good secretarial job to follow Luke. Not long after children are born who turn out to be much like their bickering parents. Eventually, Sara and Roy will be separated as he is forced to move to the city of Toronto to find employment. Finally things seem to be improving economically, but their personal struggles intensify.

Despite the turmoil, their family seems to be able to overcome one obstacle after the other. Luke and Sara both have conflicting personalities which are mirrored in their offspring, yet the family always manages to survive, The novel ends in 1942 with Sara rediscovering her childhood journal and reflecting upon her life.

I enjoyed learning about the history of Canada during this time period. The characters are well developed and true to life. This novel is a wonderful coming of age book for children age twelve and older. It is realistic family fiction that is an engaging quick read. If you enjoy historical fiction with strong compelling characters, this book is a good choice.

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