While searching through novels at a charity book sale, I came across a copy of Mrs. Mike and for fifty cents got to reread a book that I had enjoyed in my early teens. Back then, I was engaged by the story of a young girl moving to the Canadian North with her uncle in the early 1900s. As an adult, the story remained interesting although the portrayal of First Nations people seemed stereotypical.
This love story began after Katherine (later to become Mrs. Mike) travelled from Boston to her Uncle’s in Calgary. Katherine was heading to Canada with hopes that the cooler climate would fix her pleurisy. In Calgary she met and fell in love with the handsome RCMP officer, despite the fact that she was only sixteen. The two married and headed north towards adventure in the Canadian wilderness.
The couple lived amongst the First Nations people as Mr. Mike kept order and looked after the remote community. The couple became a valued part of the fabric of the community and were well-respected. They lived through a devastating bush fire and later, an epidemic of diphtheria which would change their lives forever. The couple not only made a difference to their community but became a part of the North.
I did enjoy re-reading this story as an adult and understand that there were two sequels written to this 1947 novel. In researching the novel, the story was based on the real Katherine although the story is thought to be mainly fictionalized. I enjoyed the nostalgia of re-reading Mrs. Mike and may seek out the sequels in future.
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