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Review: Whale Song by Cheryl K. Tardif

The next book that I read for the Canadian Book Challenge was Cheryl K. Tardif’s Whale Song. Cheryl mailed me her book as I was the winner of one of John’s giveaways.

This story is about a young girl (I think she’s 11 or 12 at the start of the story) moving to a small town on Vancouver Island. She’s adjusting to life away from her best friend and getting to know her new home including the ocean which she’s never seen before. Most of her neighbours and new classmates are also Native Canadians and so she learns about their culture and myths through the storytelling of her new friend’s Nana.

Of course her happy, ideal life with her artist mother and marine biologist father can’t stay that way and soon her mother is suffering from fainting spells and is sleeping more and more. Things go from bad to worse and soon Sarah tries to cut herself off from the world. Over time though, what she has learned from Nana and other Natives on the island helps her to overcome her pain and to start allowing herself to live again.

I really enjoyed the story. For me it was unique since I hadn’t read anything set on that island before, and not too much with Native themes (except the most awesome Two Day Road). Although ‘enjoy’ might not be the right word. It was moving. I did a fair bit of the reading while sitting in the SFO airport and on my flight to LA and it was so difficult holding the tears back. I’m sure if anyone was watching they’d see my eyes filled to the brim. Even though it might be a bit embarrassing I think the crying was a good thing – needed to get all that emotion out. Anyway, it’s definitely a recommended read.

So that is my eleventh read for the Canadian Book Challenge. Still have two more to go in 19 days! I hope I can do it1 This week is out since I’m in L.A. and don’t have any Canadian books with me (just a couple new ones on Blues I bought from City Lights).

By the way, the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge starts July 1st! So go on over to the Book Mine Set, take a look at the ‘rules’ and sign yourself up! You’ll have a year to read 13 Canadian Books of your choosing!


About Jen

An instructor, a reader, a dog-owner, and advocate; that's how I define myself and these aspects directly impact my interests and conversations.


2 thoughts on “Review: Whale Song by Cheryl K. Tardif

  1. Hi Jen:

    Wow…I somehow missed seeing your review until now. Thank you for all the kind words, but more importantly, I’m so glad you “got” the story.

    I would like to quote from your review on my sites/blogs. May I? I’ll link back to the full review too.

    All the best,

    Posted by Cheryl Kaye Tardif... | 11 Jul 2008, 5:22 PM
  2. Hi Cheryl! Thanks for reading the review. Feel free to quote/link back. I really did enjoy your book!

    Posted by Jen | 14 Jul 2008, 4:19 PM

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