A Stone in My Pocket

4 January 2008

A Stone in My PocketA Stone In My Pocket
by Matthew Manera
Published by Thistledown Press
Review by Marion Harder
$19.95 ISBN-13: 978-1-897235-03-4

Imagine living in the year 1850 as a young girl moving towards woman hood. Imagine being a free spirit yet raised in a very conservative, strict Methodist household. Imagine finding a good Indian friend named Baketigweyaa from Mississauga who is part of the Algonkian tribe. Imagine your father dislikes Indians.

This story is about a young girl named Gretchen Williamson, a deep thinker who wants to be schoolteacher. Gretchen is caught between two worlds: her parent’s world, a strict, isolated place; and the Indian world full of discovery and learning. Gretchen learns about the ways of nature and life from the old Indian. She learns about love from Patrick Monaghan.

This historical fiction takes place in rural Ontario, where Gretchen’s ancestors arrived after emmigrating from England to New Brunswick. Her father can’t understand why anyone would want to be a hunter or fisherman and has a turbulent relationship with his daughter. His frustration and anger lead the family to a tragic disaster.

One Halloween night, as Gretchen sneaks out on her nightly expeditions she finds a stone, which she places on a fire. Unusual things begin to happen as this tale takes on a new twist and Gretchen explores a different path. Through her new friend The Red, Gretchen finds comfort and explanations about her experiences. A stone in Gretchen’s pocket is all that is needed to answer life questions and complete a journey of self -discovery from a young girl to a woman.


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