As part of my Cross-Canada Reading challenge, Juliet in August met the requirements for a book set in Saskatchewan. It was the winner of the 2010 Governor General award and has also been published with the title of Cool Water.
The setting, Juliet, was a small Prairie town with a collection of unique individuals whose lives intersected. The story began with the tale of a 100 mile horse race between an old cowboy and a young man which had become legend in the small town. Lee was struggling to maintain the farm, that he inherited, when he happened to find an escaped horse and inadvertently set out to recreate the race. A wife struggled to live up to her husband’s expectations of maintaining their home and caring for 6 children as they slowly sold off parts of their farm. A man hid his feelings for his deceased brother’s wife recollecting the camel that had been an attraction at the drive in movie theatre he maintained. A bank manager struggled to tell his neighbours the they couldn’t borrow any more money. Each character in this novel has their own frustrations and drama including love, pregnancy and death set in the monotonous routine of a day.
The book has a slow pace and is character driven. The unique characters keep the reader wondering what will happen next and if they can bust out of their routine lives in this quiet town.
This is a slow-paced read and worth taking the time to slowly meander through the town and get to know the inhabitants of Juliet, Saskatchewan!