I have recently started reading this author that I was completely unfamiliar with before. I saw the books at my local library and they tweaked my attention immediately. I just love prairie authors. I have been trying to pick as many books by authors from Saskatchewan. It has become my second hobby and interest.
Sharon Butala is one of these authors that once you start reading her work, you won’t want to stop. This is a nonfiction book about what it means to live in the Western part of Canada where it is cold and the snow is constant.
What does it mean to be a Westerner? What is the Western experience and, by extension, what makes up the Western soul?
In this book, Sharon Butala challenges and inspires us to think about the West in fresh ways. She begins by transporting the reader to her Saskatchewan ranch, where there is a soft lilac moon lights the vastness of the prairie landscape.
Then, in a series of wide-ranging chapters that ponder the question What Makes a Westerner? she explores the myths, the history, the people and the three prairie provinces.
From the pioneer past to Western stereotypes, from racial and ethnic equalities to party politics, from rural legends to urban realities, this book effortlessly interweaves strands of history, family, politics, and culture.
Butala’s deep western roots — her family blends both French and English culture as and has lived in the West for five generations–and her eloquent, perceptive and questioning style combine to produce a book rich in insight and revelation.
This is a book not just for westerners but for all Canadians who want to experience their own dream of the West.
After reading this book, I have definitely put Saskatchewan on my list of places to visit in the near future!
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth