book reviews

In between writings, I also an an avid reader, although I don't get to read as much as I'd like. On this page, I will review books I've read either in the past, or am currently reading. Please feel free to send me your comments on my reviews, or recommendations of books you've read.

north of fifty-three

by: bertrand w. sinclair - 1914

I ran across this book while going through a bookcase in my Mother's home after she died. I was immediately intrigued at the sheer age of the old, tattered book - over 100 years old, yet every page was still in tact, although the front and back covers, and the binding were in poor shape. Still, just holding a book that old was awe-inspiring and I couldn't wait to read it! The chapters were well outlined in the Table of Contents, and there were four strategically placed illustrations throughout the book. But what captured my attention most of all was the simple, handwritten dedication in the front of the book - "To Eva, From Dan - Christmas 1916". Surely this was a book that was wanted, beloved and cherished!

"North of Fifty-Three" is by Bertrand W. Sinclair - a lesser known (at least to me anyway) Canadian author best known for his series of novels set in the western U.S. written in the early 1900's. It was one of his most successful novels and sold 340,000 copies. You can read more about Bertrand W. Sinclair here.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the title, which is quite misleading. The primitive sketching on the cover of a mountainous landscape would lead you to believe it was an adventure novel, and while there is quite alot of adventure in the story, the main storyline is a beautiful love story between Hazel Weir, a young, vivacious working girl engaged to the town real estate tychoon, and a roughshod lumberjack type named Bill Wagstaff. Their characters couldn't be further apart in personality, but that's one of the things that makes the story so good! After losing the trust of her fiancé through a sordid misunderstanding, Hazel sets off to start a new life where she gets lost in the woods and accidentally runs into Bill. And while he instantly falls for this refined city girl he later affectionately refers to as his "little person", she is infuriated when he misleads her into thinking he's going to help her find her way back home, but ends up more or less kidnapping her! And that's where there adventures start "North of Fifty-Three" - a reference to the winter north of 53 degrees in British Columbia, where the majority of the story takes place. And while Bill takes a little warming up to, eventually you can't help but root in his favor of finally winning over the heart of the "little person" in his life, Hazel Weir. 

The storyline in "North of Fifty-Three" was intriguing, catty, comical and heart-warming, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good love story, and look forward to reading more from this author!