Euphoria
Coteau Books / 7 April 2010

Euphoria by Connie Gault Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $21.00 ISBN 978-1-55050-409-5 It’s no surprise that Connie Gault’s historical novel, Euphoria: A Novel, was shortlisted for the 2009 Book of the Year (Saskatchewan Book Awards). The Regina writer of stage and radio plays and author of two well-received short story collections is one of those (too rare) writers who takes the time to get each book right, and now, with Coteau’s release of Euphoria, Gault’s secured her place as one of Saskatchewan’s most talented. The structuring of time and place is especially admirable in this novel. The story itself is what’s sometimes referred to as a quiet novel; the focus is on character development rather than a dramatic plot (though the aftermath of the Regina “cyclone” of 1912 does figure prominently). It’s a testament to Gault’s literary finesse that she not only keeps readers interested in the “quiet” lives of these characters who live, work, oversee, and, in the case of Orillia Cooper, convalesce in boarding houses, but that she also successfully shuffles these many lives – forward and back – over decades and disparate locations, without missing a beat. The author begins with two central…