The Glory Wind by Valerie Sherrard

11:00 AM

Title: The Glory Wind
Author: Valerie Sherrard
Release Date: October 25, 2010 (paperback)
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Pages: 222
Source: Copy provided by publisher

Overall: 4 Stars

A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in the prairies in the 40's when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met - fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother's past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

My Thoughts:
Canadian author Valerie Sherrard's The Glory Wind may have been a short read, but it was somehow just the perfect length to really tell Luke's story. Very easily, you get a quick feel for the characters and the small town setting, so I had no difficulties getting into the story at all. The Glory Wind is one of those novels that I never felt rushed to complete, but I wouldn't mistake it for boredom; it just moves at a slower pace...

Just like with books set in the Victorian period, I have a certain fondness for historical fiction novels which take place in the first half of the twentieth century as well. In the case of The Glory Wind, the novel centers around eleven year-old Luke who lives in a small rural Manitoba town. Set in the 1940s, after World War II had ended, it's a close Christian community where everyone pretty much knows each other's business... and where kindness is given as easily as it is taken back. And when Gracie Moor and her mother move to town, a series of events are set in motion that will leave Luke questioning his faith.

Although Luke may be a younger protagonist, the style of writing takes on an older theme. It was as though the events had already unfolded... and Luke was simply recalling a memory of what happened in his past which left such a deep impression on him. The Glory Wind is a mix of being both a middle grade novel and a young adult one, I guess. In any case, as the novel progressed, I foreshadowed something incredibly sad would happen... and it just seemed to be a matter of when. I was so nervous to see if I would be right or not!

Valerie Sherrard's The Glory Wind was a wonderfully written tale of family and friendship in the face of prejudice. I found myself invested in the storyline... and when I finished the novel, I cried for sweet and outspoken Gracie as she never backed down to the townsfolk who bullied her because of her mother's past. Life can be so unfair... and The Glory Wind certainly showed that.

The Glory Wind was a finalist for the 2011 Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award!

Thanks so much to Fitzhenry & Whiteside for providing this review copy!

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  1. I think I would like to try this book. And I do like when a story is set in a unusual time period. The very later 19th-very early 20th century, just after the WW wars.

    I don't like seventies books, though, for some reason.

    Anyway, this book sounds really good! Thanks for the review

  2. It sounds like a pretty powerful story. I feel kind of ashamed that I don't read more Canadian books, but for some reason most of them seem so depressing (possibly this one included? :/ ). Still, I might have to pick this one up at some point. Thanks for the review!