The Cure for Death by Lightning Author:Gail Anderson-Dargatz "The cure for death by lightning was handwritten in thick, messy blue ink in my mother?s scrapbook, under the recipe for my father?s favourite oatcakes: Dunk the dead by lightning in a cold water bath for two hours and if still dead, add vinegar and soak for an hour more." — So begins Gail Anderson-Dargatz?s extraordinary first novel, a seductive... more » and thrilling book that captures the heart and imagination, as filled with the magic and mystery of life as it is with its lurking evils and gut-wrenching hardships.
The Cure for Death by Lightning takes place in the poor, isolated farming community of Turtle Valley, British Columbia, in the shadow of the Second World War. The fifteenth summer of Beth Weeks?s life is full of strange happenings: a classmate is mauled to death; children go missing on the nearby reserve; an unseen predator pursues Beth. She is surrounded by unusual characters, including Nora, the sensual half-Native girl whose friendship provides refuge; Filthy Billy, the hired hand with Tourette?s Syndrome; and Nora?s mother, who has a man?s voice and an extra little finger. Then there?s the darkness within her own family: her domineering, shell-shocked father has fits of madness, and her mother frequently talks to the dead. Beth, meanwhile, must wrestle with her new-found sexuality in a harsh world where nylons, perfume and affection have no place. Then, in a violent storm, she is struck by lightning in her arm, and nothing is quite the same again. She decides to explore the dangers of the bush.
Beth is a strong, honest, and compassionate heroine, bringing hope and joy into an environment that is often cruel. The character of Beth?s haunted mother infuses the book with life by means of her scrapbook of recipes scattered throughout, with luscious descriptions of food, gardening, and remedies, both practical and bizarre. Seen through Beth?s eyes, the West Coast landscape is full of beauty and mysteries, with its forests and rivers, and its rich native culture.« less
Not at all what I was expecting, what a creative tale! Told from the point of view of the youngest daughter, we really get more than a peek into the challenges of life during World War II in Canada. This young lady has perseverance and strength that is not to be believed as you watch the obstacles unfold that she is forced to face. Her mother's scrapbook is artfully woven seamlessly into the story. Thankfully, this young lady has a couple allies, and a little magic on her side as well. I hope you will enjoy the adventure this book takes you on as much as I did.