White Coal City
University of Regina Press / 13 April 2021

White Coal City: A Memoir of Place & Familyby Robert BoschmanPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Keith FosterPrice $21.95 ISBN 9780889777965 As Margaret Boschman stepped onto a busy Saskatoon street from in front of a parked car, an oncoming vehicle smashed into her, killing her instantly and hurling her shoe through the air. Six months pregnant, and dead at twenty-nine. A masterpiece of creative nonfiction, Robert Boschman’s White Coal City: A Memoir of Place & Family records the impact of this pivotal event of June 29, 1940. The narrative revolves around the ripple effects his Grandmother Margaret’s death had on the entire multi-generational family. Margaret’s death utterly destroyed her husband, John, who witnessed a travelling salesman from Toronto slam into his beloved wife. The salesman stopped, surmised that Margaret had merely been knocked unconscious, and drove off. A violent, short-tempered man who took his Mennonite religion to an extreme, John unleashed his anger on his three sons. He also scolded his young grandson Robert for crying when his candy floss stuck to his face. For most of his early days, Robert and his two younger siblings lived in the rear of Prince Albert’s King Koin Launderette, cleaning and maintaining…

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