BETWEEN TWO WORLDS by Joan Lingard

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Petersons, first met in Tug of War (1990) as Latvian refugees in Poland and Germany, have now (1948) arrived in Toronto, thanks to the sponsorship of kind Helen and Ivar Fraser and the promise of a job teaching Latin for father Lukas. But plans immediately go awry: Lukas has a heart attack and can't work, while Ivar's new job takes him to Alberta; still, the Frasers pay the hospital bill and provide emergency funds and a new place to live. The new landlady, though, is grasping and unfriendly and, while all three children find jobs, Hugo's in construction and his twin Astra's at a dry cleaners are grueling and leave them little energy for the education they nonetheless manage to continue. Tomas, 12, works long hours as a delivery boy. Each meets suspicion and prejudice but also makes real friends, and not just among fellow immigrants. Latvian traditions are maintained while the members of the family begin to adopt Canadian ways. The end of their first year finds them in work better suited to their talents, and able to buy a plot where they'll soon build a house. Alternating episodic vignettes concerning the three young people, Lingard builds an authentic picture of immigrants starting over; though the Petersons have many things in their favor, including good tuck as well as their drive and intelligence, their experiences are representative of more than this particular setting. Solid and interesting.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Lodestar/Dutton