The Cure for Death by Lightning Gail Anderson-Dargatz " Brilliant"ÃÂ¦ A wonderful and challenging, truly bewitching novel."ÃÂ Edmonton Journal Gail Anderson-Dargatz, a superb Canadian writer, wrote the Cure for Death by Lightning. The setting of the novel takes place in British Columbia during World War two.
Each character displayed a unique identity, which were interesting and believable. Particularly, Mrs. Weeks who was the mother of the main character Beth. At the beginning of the novel I felt that Mrs. Weeks was a bit strange, but was also a strong independent lady. The conversations she held with her dead mother were amusing, while her discipline and devotion to the farm taught me the importance of responsibility. However, when she turned her back on her child it disappointed me. Mrs. Weeks was aware her husband was sexually abusing her daughter and she did nothing. When the story had revealed that she was a product of incest, I couldn't understand why she wouldn't try to protect her daughter from what she had endured for so many years.
The setting took place in British Colombia, a setting that was very familiar. The Cure for Death by Lightning, teaches the reader about the struggles and hard work that goes into living and raising a farm. Waking up at the break of dawn, milking the cow and then devoting the rest of the day to other animals is not my idea of a pleasant afternoon. " I intended to start milking early on this day and then move the cows through the sheep pasture and into the barnyard,"ÃÂ(P.43) Beth the main character. Waking up extra early to tend to the farm would not be on the top of my list. However, one day I do believe I could see myself owning a farm with cows, sheep, and horse and of course some hired help.
After a series of outbreaks, which came from Beth's father, the family finally decided to put him in an asylum. Mr. John Weeks, the owner of the farm was in constant battle with his neighbours, friends and family members. He physically and verbally abused his daughter and his wife feeling not an inch of remorse. It was as if his conscious had been lifted out of his soul. NO one dared challenged the father, in fear that there would be consequences to follow. Before the Week's family decided to put Mr. Weeks in an asylum Mrs. Week's was concerned with what others would thing instead of the welfare of her husband. Not a word about his whereabouts was spoken of.
" How's John"ÃÂ said Bertha. " He's fine, got a job at the mill, he'll be there till spring"ÃÂ said Mrs. Weeks. Even though, everyone in town was aware of his sickness she still felt there was a need to hide. If my husband grew unaware of his actions and need to be hospitalized: I would immediately seek help. Waiting and pretending the problem doesn't exist would only cause more trouble.
The Canadian author brilliantly used metaphors and similes to express the feelings of the various characters. The vocabulary was appropriate for the time.' Just a minute eh? 'Dargatz, cleverly used the common phrase used by Canadians to show the reader where the characters were form"ÃÂ¦ CANADA! Similes were also used frequently, throughout The Cure for Death by Lightning, which enabled the reader to get a better picture of the story. "Gertrude hadn't caught, that is, she hadn't became pregnant, so she was as good as a milk cow. She'd be sold as beef,"ÃÂ said Beth. Beth was commenting on how useless one would become if they were to become pregnant before marriage. (P.75) The Cure for Death by Lightning also taught readers how the beliefs differed from those of the white man. The many beliefs were both intriguing and interesting. One of my favourites was when old Granny was telling Beth a story about lightning. "ÃÂLet me tell you about lightning' she said. "ÃÂIn the before times, Mosquito saw a young girl, no older than you. He said that She'll make a tender dinner.' So he went to the girl and sucked blood from her. When he was full, he flew up, way up into the sky, full of the girl's blood, up to where Lightning lives. Lightning said to Mosquito. Where did you get all that good red blood? I want some!' But Mosquito knew what would happen it he told Lightning where he'd got his blood. HE didn't want Lightning to kill the young girl because he wanted to go back for more supper. So he said to Lightning. "ÃÂOn the very tops of trees are little buds. That's where I got my blood! I sucked it from the tops of the trees.' Lightning believed Mosquito. That's why lightning still strikes the tops of the trees. (P.171) I enjoyed studying the different beliefs from different religions. They allow you to think in a whole new other light. Throughout The Cure for Death by Lightning I found myself making many relations between the main character Beth and I. Her experiences, buying sanitary napkins brought me back to the days when I was younger and dreaded every time my friend visited me. "ÃÂI would like some"ÃÂ¦' (P.86) Not quite able to say the words! The Cure for Death by Lighting was intriguing and a page stopper. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a true Canadian novel. A must read!