Michael Poole, Rain Before Morning, Harbour Publishing: Madeira Park BC, 2006
I loved reading Romancing Mary Jane, which i heartily recommend to you. I loved reading this novel - an examination of principle and love, of desire and fulfillment, of the pain of war.
In graduate school, studying Canadian History, I became fascinated by the Wartime Elections Act, which was a serious blot on the already muddied escutcheons of the Government of Canada. R.B. Borden and his henchman [oh-mh-god i can't remember his name - i'll look it up] decided that conscription was the only way they were going to be able to keep their deal with Britain to supply soldiers and pilots. The brought considerable and long standing fractiousness to the fore. It was not enough to have Quebecois pissed off, but the politicians decided that bringing the war home would help with the conscription problem. They gave a vote in the 1917 election to the women closely related to the members of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces who until this time had not been enfranchised for federal elections. And they took the vote from those immigrants who had been naturalized since 1911 and who's homeland had been anywhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and who spoke one of the languages of that sprawling political construction.
Many young men did not believe that this was a just war, and did not want to submit themselves to conscription.
This novel is set in a slightly modified Sunshine Coast [the one in British Columbia Canada] in the first decades of the 20th century. A boy and a girl have become almost adults and take their love seriously. The consequences unfold in their intimacy and in the intervention of the First World War in their lives.
I thought often as I read about the boys and men who came to Canada during the Vietnam War. I thought about the decisions they made to leave their country, and not to participate in what they saw as a mistake. I thought about the men and women of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan right now.
Read this book.