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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Reader's Diary #2281 - Fran Hurcombe: Breaking Trail

The subtitle of Fran Hurcombe's book of memoirs, Breaking Trail is Northern Stories from a Simpler Time. I don't believe she's being ironic but the life she presents in these stories certainly does not seem simple to me!

I've known Fran, not well, for most of my time in Yellowknife (I came in 2008, she in the early 70s), and she represents the North far better than I. She's a no-nonsense, do-it-yourself outdoor person whereas I live a pretty pampered existence. She's also, as these tales attest, a damn fine writer.

Largely about her early days in the city, dogsledding, outdoor living, and colorful characters, there's a lot of heart, humour, and wisdom. I suppose it's also educational for those interested in learning about the North, but it's so entertaining you'd hardly even realize you were learning.

My only issue is that it's sometimes marred by typos; unfortunately, an all too common complaint with self-published books.

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