Friday, April 8, 2011

April Book Club

Last night we got together again for book club. Kim chose this month's book, "Mrs. Mike" by Benedict and Nancy Freedman.

Mrs. Mike
is the story, set in the beginning of the twentieth century, of Katherine Mary O’Fallon, a sixteen-year-old girl from Boston, who is sent to her uncle in Calgary, Alberta, because she suffers from pleurisy. Soon, she falls in love with Mike Flannigan, a tall and handsome man from the Mounted Police, marries him and follows him North, into the great wilderness. The trip, first by train and then as part of a dog-sled caravan, is almost too much for Katherine and her lungs. But as she decides to follow Mike no matter what, she also begins a relationship of love and hate with a pitiless and beautiful country…

First in Hudson’s Bay and then in Grouard, villages of little more than a hundred people, Sergeant Mike is not only responsible for punishing law breakers, he must also tend to the sick, as there is no doctor for hundreds of miles around. For Katherine Mary, this is a hard but exciting life, which soon makes her a stronger and more mature person. Being one of the rare White woman who has embraced life in the great Canadian wilderness, Katherine conquers many hardships and sorrows because of her love for her husband.

The dangers faced daily are numerous: bears attacks, devastating fires, epidemics of flu or diphtheria, which all claim their share of lives. Racial problems sometimes arise in a country where Whites, Indians and half-breeds live together, but mostly, these people stick together and help each other when adversity strikes. On each occasion, Sergeant Mike comes to the rescue and faces the many threats with bravery and efficiency.

Mrs. Mike is based on the real story of Katherine Mary and Sergeant Mike. The authors, Benedict and Nancy Freedman, another couple, met Katherine after the death of her husband and were inspired by her adventurous life.

While we discussed the book last night, Kim fed us fruit with the most delicious fruit dip along with mini spring cupcakes. Yummy! Until next month!

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