by Connie Gault
A bond between a young girl and an abandoned baby encompasses eastern and western Canada, from 1890s Toronto to the Regina Cyclone.
A historical novel that chronicles the life of Gladdie McConnell and her seemingly mysterious connection to Orillia Cooper. The importance of sex, of love, of mothers and daughters, all are themes running through this novel. The nurturing and love from our mothers ( be it traditional or not) is paramount to real survival.
The opening prologue, set in Toronto in the late 1880's, connects Gladdie to Orillia in a way she didn't think possible. When Gladdie, a Toronto boarding house servant, makes a promise to an abandoned day-old child in 1891, she means to keep it. A host of obstacles, including her station in life, a determined adoptive family and half a continent of distance, isn't going to stop her. Schooled in adversity, and red-headed - like all the best indomitable heroines - she knows how to persevere.
The twists and turns of Gladdie' helpmate life lead her to the summer of 1912, when twenty-year-old Orillia Cooper wakes up from surgery after being struck down by the Regina Cyclone. It has taken a tornado - and a devastating injury to Orillia - to bring them back together, because Orillia is that same child. However, she has no idea who Gladdie McConnell really is; she's just a friend when she is in need of one.
An engaging cast of characters inhabits Euphoria, bringing both eastern and western Canada at the turn of the 20th century to vivid life. This beguiling novel, with its quiet intelligence, wit and comedy of errors, is about the stories we want to believe in, and more importantly, about the value that may exist in wishes that don't come true.