R.E.A.L., from the Edge of the Rock
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Ghosts, myths, ‘old country’ superstitions, rigid religious dogma, harsh school discipline and the cyclical poverty of mid-Century Newfoundland outports provide the context and content for this fascinating 60 year memoir by Rita Mary Stamp.
Unusual sightings, the presence of ghosts in the family home, belief in fairies and superstitions were all a part of growing up in the village. She also grew up in fear: angst related to her father’s harsh discipline, as well as threat-based schooling deeply rooted in rote learning and religious rites. “Forty years later and much personal work, she sees that choice (of leaving her home), and her home in a very different light.” This story parallels the conditions and situations in many smaller, rural Canadian Communities in the 1940s-1960s, especially for women. A page turner once you begin; something to which many individuals can relate to in their own childhood or in rural communities elsewhere in Canada or the USA.