Broken Windows

April 22nd, 2010  |  Published in Book Reviews  |  7 Comments

by Patricia Nolan
Polestar Book Publishers,
S.C., $16.95, 176 pp.

From the 10 year old Sylvia who distances herself from the pain of her father’s womanizing and her
mother’s illness through caricaturing his lovers and photographing her father hugging her mother’s
ashes, to the middle aged male traveling to the funeral of an aunt who abused him as a child, we
are shown a myriad of characters who are all battered by their past. We meet young girls attacked
by their lunatic father, teenagers grown up before their time who must cope with their fathers’
desertion, or womanizing, or madness, or alcoholism. We meet daughters struggling with their
mothers’ illness or death, or the tyranny of siblings who convince them they are worthless, or the
savagery and battering of their spouses. We meet a young husband trying to reconcile the happy
memories of his childhood past with the destructive energy of his wife’s and we meet the man sexually
and emotionally damaged as a child by his perverse, sadistic aunt.

Patricia’s skill is in managing to get into the heads of so many diverse characters, from children
without the insight or skill to verbalize their experience or feelings, to aging males, and to seem
perfectly at home there. Each character is very different, yet in a thematic way, the same. They
have not been defeated by life, and they are looking for or have found a lifeline.

These are well crafted, pithy stories from an Ontario writer and teacher of creative writing. The
characters she depicts will stay in your mind.


  1. gary weare says:

    June 11th, 2010at 11:00 am(#)

    Cherie , just read your article in BCAA Westworld ” The Promised Land “. Great article that certainly grabs the readers attention.
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  2. Cherie says:

    June 19th, 2010at 6:11 pm(#)

    Hi Gary, Thanks for your positive comments. Don’t blame you for confusion re: the two Lund Hotels. The first one, called the Lund Hotel, was built in 1895 and burnt down in 1918. After its destruction, the second hotel, built in 1905, was henceforth called the Lund Hotel. While trying to get across the idea that the present Lund hotel, albeit historic, was not the original one, I have muddied the waters.

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    Thanks Antonio. I am on twitter but have to admit I do not use it nearly as much as I should.

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