The Dancehall Years

The Dancehall Years

A Novel

Book - 2016
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The Dancehall Years is an elegy to a coastal culture almost lost—island cottages with views of the Union Steamships in Howe Sound, the Japanese gardeners before WWII and the terrible internments, forgotten inlets and logging camps, long summer evenings in the dancehall, with its circle of white Corinthian columns, where ‘you're only allowed to dance inside the columns if you're in love or if you're spectacular dancers.’ Haggerty explores the intricate ecology of families, where memory and love are as tangled and difficult as blackberry canes surrounding the cottages, their histories echoing. Both an epic adventure and an interracial drama, this spellbinding novel brims with gorgeous writing. The complex family saga begins one summer on Bowen Island and in Vancouver during the Depression and moves through Pearl Harbour, the evacuation of the Japanese and three generations into the 1980s. Gwen Killam is a child whose idyllic island summers are obliterated by the war and consequent dramatically changed behavior of the adults around her. Her swimming teacher, Takumi, disappears along with his parents. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle painfully realizes she must make an unthinkable sacrifice. The island’s dance hall, a well-known destination for both soldiers on leave and summer picnickers, becomes the emotional landmark for time passing and time remembered.
Publisher: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada :, Mother Tongue Publishing,, [2016]
Description: 348 pages : genealogical table, map ; 21 cm
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781896949543
Branch Call Number: Hagg


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annie Jul 29, 2017

well written, Canadian historical fiction set in BC just before the second world war up to the seventies.

martins_mom Feb 22, 2017

For readers of BC fiction; for anyone who grew up in the '40's or '50's; for those interested in the history of the Japanese internment and property confiscation during Word War II; and for all lovers of fictional voices that ring with veracity.

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