This summer, the County of Brant library hosted a literary bingo filling the squares with Canadian authors. Although I did not complete the card (since I was so busy reading through the provinces and territories with my Cross Canada Challenge), I did participate and finish one line of books including Tell by Frances Itani.
At the time that I borrowed this book, I had not realized that it was a sequel to Deafening. Clearly, I have more reading to do before picking up That’s My Baby which completes the trilogy set in Deseronto, Ontario.
Tell begins with an emotional vignette of a young woman giving up her baby to another family. The reader is left wondering who is giving up the baby as they are introduced to Tress, a young wife, struggling to rebuild her relationship with her husband (Kenan), who has returned from the Great War, injured both physically and mentally. Tress is supported by her Aunt Maggie who is dealing with her own marital struggles in her childless marriage by becoming involved in the town’s choral society. The two women’s lives are intertwined and the reader learns more about their marriages and the stories kept quiet which impact their lives.
If you are going to read this trilogy, please start at the beginning with Deafening!! While I enjoyed Tell, I feel that I missed some depth and understanding of Tress without learning about her younger years.
I am looking forward to reading That’s My Baby to learn more about the baby that was adopted in the first vignette. This novel is set during the second World War. For more detail on the final book, here is an interview with the author from the Ottawa Citizen.