By Donna Milner
Earlier than River, every little thing was once excellent. . . . transforming into up on a Canadian dairy farm under miles from the yank border, fifteen-year-old Natalie Ward is aware little of the skin global. yet her loving, close-knit relations is the envy of old and young alike within the within reach city of Atwood. Natalie adores her 3 brothers—especially Boyer, the eldest, whom she idolizes. yet every thing alterations one scorching July afternoon in 1966 whilst a long-haired stranger looks at their door—a soft-spoken American, a Vietnam battle resister, who will try out the family's morals and ideology, and set in movement catastrophic occasions that may shatter Natalie's relationships with these she such a lot dearly loves.
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As I rummage through my underwear drawer I am suddenly startled by the thought of what to wear to a funeral. My mother’s funeral. Vern’s unspoken thought is more reality than probability. The idea of attending a ceremony in St Anthony’s Church, of sitting in the front pew while a priest’s monotonous voice chants 28 AFTER RIVER the ceremony and speaks of my mother’s life, is almost too much. I stand in the middle of my closet, underpants in one hand, and bras in the other, and hold my breath to stifle the sneeze I feel building between my eyes.
Maybe the time has come to tell her the truths, the secrets, as I know them, or have imagined them. All of it. The forgivable and the unforgivable. 34 Chapter Seven The shattering of our family did not occur gradually. There was no drawn-out series of events that could be pointed to and blamed. No slow motion accident to be replayed and pondered over. It came suddenly. The irreversible tragedy of errors was accomplished in the course of a few long-ago summer days. It left everyone in our family with their own secret version of what happened.
The legends say Dan was a North Country man, And so big that they called him Bull Moose. From Alaska they say, old Dan ran away, To escape from the end of a noose. He arrived here by course on the back of a horse, And stopped to make camp in the cold. As Daniel stepped down on the harsh frozen ground He tripped on a huge nugget of gold. It took Dan no time to dig that first mine, Before long the first shaft was down. When the miners all came, old Dan had laid claim To the land for miles around.