I just finished reading two adult novels. The first Holding My Breath by Sidura Ludwig I thoroughly enjoyed. Set in the 1950s and ’60s in the Jewish community of Winnipeg’s north end, it is a tale of two generations of women and the push/pull of community and personal independence. It is tender, sensitive, charming and above all real. This is written as an adult novel but would work well for strong YA readers.
What is most interesting, however, is I immediately followed this book with Road Ends by Mary Lawson. While set in a fictional northern Ontario town in the 1960s the theme is similar. I loved Crow Lake, an earlier Lawson novel, but not this one. I found, especially the Ontario based sections, tedious. Why?
On reflection it was not because of the writing (which is good) or because of the desperation or even because Megan’s choice for her future (spoiler alert) is the opposite of Beth’s, it was because I read the Ludwig novel immediately before it.
Would my response to the novels be different if I had read them in a different order?