Visually impaired Cammie Deveau is only 10, but she worries that life is passing her by. Raised by her Aunt Millie, the local bootlegger, Cammie finally convinces Millie to let her go to school. As she makes her first friend, gets a pair of eyeglasses and slowly uncovers the truth about her father, Cammie becomes more determined to realize her dream of going to a special school for the blind. Her friend Evelyn devises a plan that they hope will convince Aunt Millie to send her there. But can it make things better for Evelyn too?
Best creates an authentic portrait of post-Second World War life in a rural Nova Scotia community. Her descriptions of Saturday nights at the bootlegger’s house, women gossiping at the general store and a dance at the local hall capture a strong sense of time and place. Cammie’s voice has a folksy charm and her earnestness is appealing even while readers will sympathize with her frustrations. Evelyn is a compelling character in his own right and readers may have enjoyed entering more fully into his story. While the ending feels somewhat sudden, it is satisfying to see Cammie reach a hopeful place.
Flying With a Broken Wing
by Laura Best
$12.95, paperback, 216 pp.
Nimbus Publishing, September 2013