The Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou (2011, Brindle & Glass) offers insight into Canadian mountain village lifestyles and culture while at the same time addressing larger themes with which readers can relate. The Canterbury Trail tells the story of a mis-matched bunch of skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers who set out in small groups to enjoy one last Spring weekend of back country adventure. Their relationships, connections and loyalties are put to the tests of Mother Nature, and being forced to all share a small remote cabin in the mountains. Abdou loosely borrows the structure from Chaucer’s great English classic The Canterbury Tales, as she devotes each early chapter to one character then brings them together for their pilgrimage. A hermit, who has grown into a local legend of sorts, rounds out the story. He has withdrawn from society yet works at maintaining trails for others to enjoy the mountains. Abdou weaves the themes of generations, marriage, friendship and our relationship with the environment together expertly. This book allows readers to experience the landscape, weather and feel of the mountains. It also draws the reader into the personal struggles of the characters and how they deal with the tangled relationships in their lives.
Joanna Aegard, Thunder Bay Public Library