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By Elizabeth Hay

In a small prairie institution in 1929, Connie Flood is helping a backward pupil, Michael Graves, the way to learn. looking at them and darkening their lives is the important, Parley Burns, whose unusual behaviour culminates in an assault so traumatic its repercussions proceed to the current day.

Connie’s niece, Anne, tells the tale. Impelled through interest approximately her dynamic, adventurous aunt and her extra traditional mom, she revisits Connie’s previous and her mother’s damaged early life. within the procedure, she unravels the enigma of Parley Burns and the mysterious (and unrelated) deaths of 2 younger ladies. because the novel strikes deeper into their lives, the triangle of vital, instructor, scholar opens out into different emotional triangles – aunt, niece, lover; mom, daughter, granddaughter – till a surprising, capsizing love thrusts Anne herself right into a newly self sufficient lifestyles.

This spellbinding story – set in Saskatchewan and the Ottawa Valley – crosses generations and cuts to the bone. It probes the roots of obsessive love and hate, how the hurts and needs of formative years persist and are handed on as though within the blood. It lays naked the urgency of getting to know what we have been by no means advised concerning the earlier. And it celebrates the method of changing into who we're in an international packed with startling connections that lie simply out of sight.

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1985. Perspectives on the life course in G. ) Life Course Dynamics: Trajectories and Transitions 1968–1980. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 23–49. Gershuny, J. 2001. Changing Times. New York: Oxford University Press.  2014. Benefit or Burden: Coming to Terms with Ageing Britain. Lecture Series British Academy. Josselson, R. 2004. The Hermeneutics of Faith and Suspicion. Narrative Inquiry 14(1): 1–28. , and O’Connell, R. 2015. Using Narrative Sources from the Mass Observation Archive to Study Everyday Food and Families in Hard Times: Food Practices in England During 1950.

37 for understanding social development through time and space. The most convincing heuristic, in our view, relates to the work of German sociologist Norbert Elias (1978 [1970], 1991, 2009). According to Elias (1991), modernization has been linked with an individualization of society, in relation with the increasing complexity of the chains of interdependences between individuals and the lesser dependence of each of them on small, closed circles of sociability. Social development, in Elias’s work (1995), refers to the changes occurring in the networks of interdependences by which individuals respond to their various needs.

Yet, at the same time, we have to be aware that all interpretation is partial, provisional, and anchored on shifting ground (Andrews 2013). A story situates the self in particular ways some of which may be unintended or unconscious. In that sense what the narrator is saying is not so much consciously hidden but that needs decrease in the process of ­analysis (Josselson 2004). This does not mean that as researchers we should impose external interpretations on a story. Rather, it is about examining the whole interview – the jigsaw of material that the interviewee presents – paying attention to how it is presented and the sort of story the interviewee is seeking to tell.

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