If you have spent any time in Yellowknife, you will love this book. It is told through the eyes of twelve year old Delilah, whose father has been living in the north for some time. Annie, Delilah’s troubled, flighty, arty, hippy mother, decides they will join Mac in 1977.
The descriptions of Old Town, the northern lights, the cold, the sounds of the snow, the never ending summer daylight were a delight. And I loved the perspective a twelve year old can give to the idea of living with no running water, no flush toilets, wearing three shirts to keep warm, and a toque so your hair is always a mess.
For the first time in her life, Delilah starts to understand community, to feel secure. And then her mother leaves.
Although Delilah still has her friend Jones and his mother and father, plus Will, her father’s business partner, she is very alone. Her father is working extra shifts at Giant Mine, just when she needs him most. And we all know that twelve-year-olds on their own, can be irresponsible.
This book, with its well rounded characters, the details of the Wildcat Cafe, the glories of Great Slave Lake all make me want to see Yellowknife again.
This is a debut novel.
The Wildcat Cafe is a vintage log cabin structure in Yellowknife. It first opened in 1937 by owners Willie Wylie and Smokey Stout. It is the oldest restaurant in Yellowknife.