BookView review: HOW THE WORLD BEGAN: A Parable of 1812 by Don Gutteridge

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A Parable of 1812

Don Gutteridge

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Gutteridge brings to life the early 19th century pioneer life in upper Canada in this mesmerizing tale of family, survival, courage, and perseverance. Indian Territory, 1812 (Site of present-day Dawn Township, Lambton County). Life is hard, but 17-year-old Luke McRorie is content living on a farm with his parents, older brother and adopted sister. When the war arrives at their doorsteps, upturning their lives, Cal, Luke’s older brother, leaves suddenly to join the war. An unexpected incident at home forces Luke to locate Cal. With the whole of the South becoming an armed camp, and regulars, militia, and Indians getting ready for the war, Luke’s mission becomes more than dangerous. Will he find Cal? Will the family survive the tumultuous period? Gutteridge’s complex characters jump off the page. He wrings a great deal of emotion from the various portraits while exploring his characters’ conflicted emotions. Despite the slim size of the novel, Gutteridge finds room for many striking observations, such as familial ties, human connection, the resilience of human spirit in the face of hardships, the surreal nature of massacres, and how Indian cultures disintegrated under the pressure of the white man’s expansion. Ingenious, sharp, and hard-hitting, this is a tour-de-force.


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