The Factory Voice

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“The Factory Voice” is the debut novel by Jeanette Lynes.  I’m still reading it and *really* enjoying it. It takes place at in Fort William, Ontario. I just love reading books I can relate to. It starts in December 1941.  Sixteen year old Audrey Leona Foley has decided she’s not interested in the marriage plans her parents have for her (they’ve got their eyes set on a ranch hand). After seeing a newspaper ad “Girls wanted to build airplanes in Ontario”, she steals her wedding funds from a cherry jar and leaves the family cattle ranch in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Unknown to Audrey there’s another passenger on the train that’s also headed to the same destination. Muriel McGregor is on her way to her new position as Chief Engineer at Fort William Aviation. She’s 36, single and a polio survivor. After touring the plant she is driven past Vickers Park and talks about the stately homes surrounding it. Meanwhile Audrey asks her cab driver to take her to a hotel and she’s about to check in at the Royal Edward Hotel. This is as far as I’ve read, but I’m already recommending it to friends. I’ll let you know how it turns out…Well I finished it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Among the other characters in the book two others stand out. There’s Ruby Kozak, a former beauty queen now working as a stenographer at the factory. She dreams of being a writer and publishes the company newsletter “The Factory Voice”. And then there’s Florence Voutilainen, she’s a riveter and she lives on Rosslyn Road. Wow. She’s forced to wear a red scarf which signifies her as someone on probation. Florence dreams of wearing a yellow scarf like most of the staff. Between the characters, the language “the bee’s knees” and all the local references, it was easy to visualize and a treat to read. Enjoy.

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