Monday, April 25, 2016
U is for Jane Urquhart
My theme this year is the ABCEDARIA of Women who have inspired me.
U is for Jane Urquhart - Canadian author.
Jane Urquhart is a writer with tremendous breadth. I'm inspired by her marvelous novels and how they bring Canadian history to life for me. In particular I like The Stone Carvers - a novel that explores the life of an early Canadian wood carver and his two grandchildren - a boy and girl. They both become part of the crew that helps carve the memorial at Vimy Ridge - the woman disguised as a man. The themes of this book embrace the cultural mosaic of Canada and the tremendous effect that the two World Wars had on a young country. The descriptions of the stone carving fascinated me as I had done some sculpting as a young woman. In fact, one of the reasons that I really like Urquhart is she often addresses the life of artists. The Underpainter is another of her novels that does this and probably my favorite of them all.
On her personal life - I know little. She was married young and widowed at the age of 24. I believe this added a depth to those early novels of hers - an understanding of the frailty of life that enriched the stories she told. She married again to an artist and this has obviously affected her themes and understanding. I've only seen her read once and that was on a biography she wrote about Lucy Maude Montgomery (one of my M's). I liked her rather unfussy style of presenting - she has a matter-of-fact air that I found quite refreshing.
Do read Urquhart if you like well-plotted stories, developed characters and writers who truly understand the topics they take on.