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Monica Hopkins.

Calgary, Glenbow Museum, c1981.
Distributed by the Glenbow Museum, 130 9th Ave. S. E., Calgary, AB, T2G0P3.
172pp, cloth, $12.95.
ISBN 0-919224-25-3.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Elaine Atwood.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

Monica Hopkins presents her life story from September, 1909 to November, 1911 in the form of letters she had mailed to her friends in England. These letters were her link with the life in England that she had left behind when she married an Albertan rancher and came to live in the "wilderness" near Calgary.

These letters, and others, have since come to be the property of the Glenbow Museum (well known in western Canada as a historical resource) and thus published. An introduction by Sheilagh S. Jameson, employed by the museum, fills in the previous life of Monica Hopkins and outlines her later years, most of which were spent in the Calgary area. As well, this introduction aptly presents the scope, intent, and style of Hopkins's story:

         Monica Hopkins' letters form an amusing...
         account of life in a foothills community from the
         point of view of an English bride. Although this is
         uniquely her story, it extends beyond the confines of
         one woman's experience. It exemplifies the lives of
         other women who. . .suddenly found themselves in an
         unfamiliar setting, difficult and vastly different from
         that of their homelands. These were the women who
         learned to cope with the hardships and the
         loneliness... Monica's story, coloured by her buoyant
         sense of humour and her own joyous zest for living,
         mirrors a part of the history of the country she adopted.

The easy to read, flowing style of the story is supported by clear type, good quality paper, related historical references available at the museum and a detailed index. These enable the book to be used in historical research, although its major use will be one of entertainment and enjoyment for any reader interested in Alberta pioneer life.

Elaine Atwood, St. Albert, AB.
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