The story [of How I Spent My Summer Holidays], as you might expect from Mitchell, concerns a distant. rather happy childhood on the south Saskatchewan prairie. It differs from his previous accounts of similar childhoods in the discordant note set at the beginning—bizarre, darkly sexual. We are faced not so much with a story of the loss of innocence, as Mitchell claims, but with the revelation that behind the coyly innocent exteriors he previously depicted are lives torn by sadness, horror, and loss.
The tale revolves around the hero-worshipping relationship between a young boy, Hugh and a war hero, King Motherwell. "King sure was different from Mr. Mackey, or my mother, or any other adult I...
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