Fast forward to age 17. I was in grade 12 English. (At this time in Ontario there was a grade 13 which was known as OAC, so I still had one year of high school to get through - but because I was
My grade 12 English class was taught my Mrs. Nancy Harvey. She was the head of the English department. She was (and likely still is) a very earthy person. She was my favourite teacher of all my years of school, even though I did roll my eyes repeatedly when she would take us to the ravine to look for fairies. She was a wonderful, compassionate, loving person. She saw the best in everyone and often the potential that no one else (including the teen) saw.
Every year on the reading list she put one book that had been banned. In grade 12, that book, which was the magical book that opened the world of reading to me, was Canadian author Timothy Findley's The Wars.
Anyone who has read this book (or most of Findley's work, which I have read and own it all), would be surprised that reserved, can't handle gross things me, would fall in love with a book, an author and reading because of The Wars. The book is probably an honest look at a 19 year old sent to WWI. It is brutal, graphic and yet beautiful. I have read it more times than I can count. (I can say the same about several of Findley's work - my favourites being Not Wanted on the Voyage and The Butterfly Plague). I think I feel in love with this and Findley's work, because I see an honesty in this writing. It is only his last book (which is my least favourite, but maybe a nice way to end his life and writing life) that has anything that can be described as a happy ending. As a
Now I read every night before bed. I read 2-3 books per month. Not bad for the girl who hated it.
Today I am thankful for a wonderful, loving teacher, who opened the pages of hundreds of books to me. Thank you Mrs. Harvey!
|My small collection of books - most of what I read I donate. Most of the top shelf is Findley's complete works.|