DetailsIn the strict confines of a small Old Colony Mennonite community in rural Saskatchewan, the precociously observant Jakob Schellenberg, middle son of a God-fearing farming family, grows increasingly aware of the outside world from the pictures in the Eaton's catalogue, the weekly farm paper and the city folk who occasionally stop by and dazzle him with their shiny new cars, fancy clothes and perfume-scented skin.
Jakob's instinctive, exuberant response to the daily events of prairie life during the Dirty Thirties somehow holds him apart from both family and community, causing him to look further, to yearn for something more. His poignant, often humorous, coming-of-age leads him out of the village, only to discover that the village will be with him wherever he goes.
- Additional Information
ISBN 9781894431132 Publication Date Apr 1, 2007 Author Driedger, William Illustrator No Pages 208 Size 6.00″ x 9.00″
Customer Reviews 1 item(s)
- SPG Book Review
Reading Jakob out of the Village is like attending the German pavilion at Mosaic without leaving your living room, patio, or beach chair - wherever it is that you happen to be enjoying William Driedger's book. You can hear the murmur of voices speaking German, smell the prips perking on the stove, see the beautiful rippling muscles of the hingst who visits the barn where the mare is stabled, taste the zwieback liberally spread with supsil for the mid-afternoon faspa, and feel the warmth of Mama's enveloping hug. Don't worry, there is a glossary to give the English meaning of these words.
The book is divided into five parts. A preface to each section gives us a history lesson. Some stories are short, just one age, but the impact is great. Each story gives another clue as to what life was like for Old Colony Mennonites. Willam Driedger writes with insight, humour, and compassion. He writes what he knows. The Mennonites who built the foundation of Western Canada lived a life that was simpler but no less complex than ours today.
The stories offer glimpses into the past. The straightforward descriptions portray spartan life styles, how Christmas was celebrated, sexual awakenings of a young boy, births, deaths, and everything in between. Tough topics like spousal abuse are not omitted - Driedger gives just enough information to convey the message, leaving the reader to fill in the blanks.
The language is simple but poetic: "On a spring day, one year after moving to Rosenheim when the first robin chirped a greeting from the branch of a newly planted cherry tree, Katrina was born." Such simplicity is so engaging that the reader almost feels part of the scene. Some stories are humourous.
The mischievous antics of a young boy leaves you chuckling. A quick flash of grandpa's glass eye in a small box is enough to frighten an obnoxious young cousin into submission.
By opening this book you strap yourself into a time machine, spiraling backwards uncontrollably decade after decade. Enjoy the ride!
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