Sweetness From Ashes

Sweetness From Ashes

eBook - 2010
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Set partially in Vancouver, partially on a farm in rural Ontario and partially in West Africa,Sweetness from Ashes is a novel about family in its various forms. When Sheila, Jenny and Chris decide to respect a deceased relative's wishes, and return the ashes to the family farm, the three begin a journey that takes them from their present-day lives in Vancouver to a deeper discovery of their roots and the family's past. In Ontario, they meet their cousins and start to reconcile with a buried history. Mixed into the story is a book that Jenny is editing, a memoir of an Englishman living in the colonial Gold Coast in the 1950s. The link goes beyond the manuscript and interweaves with the Ontario family farm, and the new generation of people who have come home.Sweetness from Ashes is a vibrant novel with a voice and perspective that is contemporary but gives a nod to the past.
Publisher: [Surrey, B.C.] : Brindle & Glass, c2010.
ISBN: 9781926972183
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: eBiblioFile
OverDrive, Inc

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Cdnbookworm Feb 20, 2014

This novel is set in Vancouver, Ottawa, and a farm near Ottawa, with some historical references to life decades earlier in Ghana. Jenny, Chris and Sheila are tasked in Pat's will to go back to the family farm near Ottawa to bury Pat's ashes there. Pat was estranged from the rest of the family, but we don't actually find out why until we get into the novel a little ways.
Sheila is reluctant to open that door to the past, afraid of what she might discover and afraid of what other closed doors it may lead to.
Jenny is the will's executor and more curious about the past rift in the family, although even she is surprised at how it affects her future.
Chris is less intimately concerned with this lost past as he has no blood ties to that side of the family, but he finds that some of the new knowledge he gains draws him strongly and changes the course of his life significantly.
Meanwhile, an older woman reflects on her life as she reads over her late husband's memoirs and prepares to take them to be published. As the two stories draw together, she finds herself newly invigorated and moving forward with her own life.
An interesting tale of families, prejudice, and paternalism.

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