The Curve of Time

The Curve of Time

Book - 1968
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9
Publisher: Sidney, B.C., Gray's Pub., 1968
Branch Call Number: NWR 917.11 B595C
NWR 917.11 B595C, 917.11 B595C
Characteristics: 225 p. front., map (on lining papers) 24 cm

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n
NoBarCode1
Feb 17, 2019

The disrespect shown towards Ist Nations people's property and burial sites was cringe-worthy. Reviewers should not be making excuses for that behavior. Even today humanity has to pay the price for all the bad karma this activity (breaking into buildings, grave robbing) generates. That part of the narrative totally ruined the book for me.

d
diannehildebrand
Jan 11, 2019

What a unique book, written in the 1920s - a memoir of a young widow with 5 children who takes them up and down the BC coast every summer. It's an amazing snapshot of life on the coast in that era. They stop at FN villages, seeing beautiful carved longhouses and totem poles, but the villages themselves are empty because the people leave for the summer. I had no idea how much was involved in guiding a 27-foot boat through the straits and channels of those inner islands. The author uses tables and charts, her own wits and her children's sharp eyes to calculate tides, weather, wind, depth, hidden shoals and many other factors. No phones or GPS's were available to her. The unpredictable weather of the area often necessitates finding a safe harbor and she has to know exactly how long to stay before, for instance, an outgoing tide could leave them aground.

This book is wildly politically incorrect by today's standards. She might nowadays be visited by social services for putting her children in so much danger. Her collection of artifacts would most certainly be called into question. When she and the children dig out a human leg bone and skull, the reader is inwardly shrieking, "No, don't touch it! Put it back!" But understandings were different then.

Blanchet writes in a funny, funny combination of romantic and down-to-earth. It can be a bit disorienting to move rapidly from a wildly imaginative, fantastical, mythical, spiritual paragraph to a very practical one dealing with wind direction and tides. Her descriptions of what her children (especially her youngest) say are lovely, simple and obviously verbatim - she must have done a lot of scribbling in the course of her days.

One of the most intriguing parts is the afterword, written by her daughter-in-law in 2011after Blanchet and all her children had died. When we write about ourselves we usually paint a fine picture and Blanchet was obviously no exception; much to the reader's surprise the daughter-in-law characterizes her as "a little brusque" although she also had great admiration for her very courageous mother-in-law. It's great to have the picture rounded out in this way.

s
ShasCho
Apr 23, 2017

This is a beautiful book.
Gripping, hilarious, touching, and real.
If you love the BC coast
or life on the water
or family adventure
you will love this story.

n
NANALANG51
Apr 22, 2017

I've just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it! Even though I was not familiar with a lot of the nautical terms and navigation, I was absorbed by this story. The author was a remarkable woman and raised her children as a single parent after her husband's death. She made their life full of magic and adventure, never shied away from a challenge, and gave her children, who were also her crew, an extraordinary life and knowledge of nature and the ocean. Most enjoyable read, highly recommend it.

o
ownedbydoxies
Jan 13, 2015

Such a brave and resourceful woman! In the 1930's a widow with a bunch of kids, takes sail each year on voyages of discovery along the west coast of Canada. She is well aware that what they are seeing and enjoying is changing and will never be quite the same again, which lends a certain nostalgia to the writing. A classic.

j
JoAnneF
Dec 29, 2014

Came across this book at a campground in Slave Lake this summer, of all places. Having lived on the coast for a number of years and visited Skookumchuk Narrows about 20 years ago, I was brought back to the vividness of the coastal landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, consulting Google maps to see where "Capi" had sailed with her children. A fascinating read, given the time it was written and by an adventuresome widow with 5 children to boot! I especially enjoyed her description at the end of their beloved house and land at Curteis Point. I too marveled at her determination, courage, and inventiveness. She made the most of what must have been a very challenging situation. Makes me want to go sailing next summer!

p
pocojj
Dec 27, 2014

One of the very best books about the BC coast that you can ever read! Highly recommended.
Just re-read it again after sailing in the Broughton Archipeligo. Saw many places Ms. Blanchet wrote about, And a marvelled at her determination, courage and inventiveness.

r
readingchick
Jun 06, 2012

What an adventurer this woman was! It is a great treatment of the West Coast and makes me want to go with her. I wonder if her children knew how lucky they were?

d
d3bbi3
Jan 28, 2012

This is a must read for any one living on Vancouver Island. The many discriptions of places around the discovery islands - some still there and many long gone - is unsurpassable by any other book available on the topic.

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