Clara Callan: A Novel

Clara Callan: A Novel

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0060506075

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In a small town in Canada, Clara Callan reluctantly takes leave of her sister, Nora, who is bound for New York. It's a time when the growing threat of fascism in Europe is a constant worry, and people escape from reality through radio and the movies. Meanwhile, the two sisters -- vastly different in personality, yet inextricably linked by a shared past -- try to find their places within the complex web of social expectations for young women in the 1930s.

While Nora embarks on a glamorous career as a radio-soap opera star, Clara, a strong and independent-minded woman, struggles to observe the traditional boundaries of a small and tight-knit community without relinquishing her dreams of love, freedom, and adventure. However, things aren't as simple as they appear -- Nora's letters eventually reveal life in the big city is less exotic than it seems, and the tranquil solitude of Clara's life is shattered by a series of unforeseeable events. These twists of fate require all of Clara's courage and strength, and finally put the seemingly unbreakable bond between the sisters to the test.

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belong. Im speaking for lots of folks in this village. You always thought yourself so high and mightyt didn’t you. Well it turns out your just baggage. Morrison, Evans and Ross Barristers and Solicitors 29 King Street Linden, Ontario July 14, 1938 Miss C. Callan 48 Church Street Whitfield, Ontario Dear Miss Callan: At a meeting of the Board of Trustees for Whitfield Township Schools on Wednesday evening, July 13, it was decided not to renew your contract for the coming school

herself with its making. “It’s so like you,” she said, pouring a measure of gin into her glass. “I can just see you walking away from him. Too proud to ask for help. Brother, I would have let him know in a hurry.” “It has nothing to do with pride,” I said, but I wonder now if that is true. We were sitting in the front room and I had put on a recording of Rubinstein playing the G-flat Impromptu. The window was open to the late summer afternoon. Nora asked me if I still loved him. “I don’t

we climbed, I wondered what I could do about it. What could be done about the tramp? I concluded that nothing could be done. There he was, but the time for doing anything had long passed. Nothing could now connect that man with what had happened to me three months ago by the railway tracks near Whitfield, Ontario. It was my fault entirely because I chose not to tell anyone, and we must live by our choices. The tramp would carry on with his various labours, laughing and joking with his wide monkey

keep their distance. Later, when the boys get older, there will be ugly fights, with some taking the father’s side and some against: there will be swollen jaws and blackened eyes; someone’s arm will be broken; another’s fist will go through a window right up to the forearm, shredding nerves along the way, leaving a withered hand. A chaotic household whose weather is nearly always turbulent and unpredictable. How could it be otherwise among so many vicious hearts? They are a shiftless lot. Not

classroom, I was prepared for the sidelong glances of the curious, but life was just Wednesday morning. Not a hint of anything untoward in the children’s behaviour, no smirks or whispers from the upper-form children in the hallway. Milton acted as though he had heard nothing, but he is a Presbyterian, and news may not yet have reached their households. For a moment, sitting at my desk, I imagined it all as a dream. I hadn’t carried on like that in front of the Women’s Auxiliary; Marion hadn’t

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