Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Canadian Summer

Canadian Summer, book two of the Mitchells series, by Hilda van Stockum

I've just finished reading Canadian Summer aloud to the children. They were so delighted with The Mitchells: Five for Victory, that they convinced me to read this sequel immediately. In this book, the Mitchell family summers at a small rustic ski cabin in Canada, hoping their father finds an appropriate home to rent in Montreal near his job after World War II ended. They make friends everywhere they go, find adventure at every turn, and delight young and old alike.

It is a perfect summer of romping in the woods, swimming in the lake, and working together. There's no electricity and no running water, but the wide world is right outside the door. I doubt my own ability to survive such a summer (and Mother Mitchell was concerned as well), but I can only imagine how much my children would learn and grow.

It becomes plain in this book that the Mitchell family is Catholic, but only in a few instances. Though faith at all is only mentioned a few times, my favorite part of the book illuminates the hopes of many a family.
"What would you like me to be, Mother?" asked Peter...
Mother thought for a moment, looking at the fire.
"I don't care," she said slowly, "as long as you are happy and at home in your work." 
"Don't you have any special wish for us?" asked Joan.
"Yes, I do," said Mother. "I want you to become men and women who are easily moved by God's inspiration. I think there is nothing more beautiful in the world than a soul who is sensitive to the language of God, whether He speaks in nature, or in art, or through people, or whispers directly into our hearts. I think we are happy and alive just so much as our ears are open to His voice and our eyes to His handiwork. That is what I wish for you and that alone. Then I know you will choose the right way of life for yourselves." 
She says it better than I.

We are beginning the third book, Friendly Gables, today, and I hope it will be as wonderful as the first two.

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