June 4, 2017
Rhea Tregebov. The Knife Sharpener's Bell. Coteau, 2010.
An interesting coming-of-age tale of Annette, born in Winnipeg, who, with her idealistic parents, returns to the homeland, the new USSR, to Odessa, in the 1930s. Through the eyes of an outsider who knows only Canadian ways, we see details of growing up as a secular Jew in Odessa/Moscow/Russia through the Depression, World War II, and the remaining years of Stalin's rule. The language is beautifully poetic in a way which does not distract from the story. The challenges of human rights and prejudice/discrimination/racism are eerily too familiar these generations later.