The Umbrella Mender

The Umbrella Mender

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Hazel, an older woman left mute due to a stroke, recounts her life as a nurse in the early 1950s in Moose Factory helping the Cree and Inuit people afflicted with tuberculosis.
Publisher: Hamilton, ON : Buckrider Books, ©2014.
ISBN: 9781894987905
Characteristics: 300 pages ;,23 cm


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LaughingOne Jan 17, 2015

What an interesting way to tell a story. Hazel had a stroke in her older age; her mind is fine but she can't speak. In her mind she is telling a story to her young visitor, the story of a few years in the early 1950s when Hazel was a TB nurse in northern Canada. The author did extensive research into the issue and the story rings true on all levels. It tells the story of dedicated doctors and nurses (primarily white) who go to the far north to work in hospitals for indigenous peoples to try and cure all who have tuberculosis. There are two main indigenous groups -- Cree and Inuit -- they don't always get along, and the whites can't always tell the groups apart -- culture clash, language issues. Hazel somehow keeps herself apart from almost everyone, works very hard, treats all with respect, and that is often returned. Hazel wants to catch the passion of the head doctor; she does rounds with him and he trains her to do things outside the scope of being a nurse. She is more than a nurse and less than a doctor; can she really find a place here? Then along comes the umbrella mender. Who is the umbrella mender? And how does he figure in this story? Really big. This is a novel well worth reading.

Jan 06, 2015

Such a sad story written so beautifully.
A work of fiction placed in a real location (Moose Factory) with real events (A TB epidemic) and strong, independent characters who bump up against each other while doing work most wouldn't ,and couldn't bear.
A single nurse who hides her affair,her pregnancy and ultimately her baby....and in the end everyone already knows and no one remembers .

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