All That Belongs
“Dora is a sage and marvellous writer, and one of Manitoba’s best kept secrets.” — Sandra Birdsell
Maybe it was the Winnipeg setting, the gorgeous prose, or the touching and complex portrayal of marriage and family, but reading All That Belongs made me feel one of my favourite feelings in the universe—it made me feel like I was reading a new book by Carol Shields. Except with Dora Dueck’s unique consideration of history and Mennonite culture, of course. I finished reading this one in a hammock, which was ideal for such an immersive and pleasurable novel.
Catherine, an archivist, has spent decades committed to conserving the pasts of others, only to find her own resurfacing on the eve of her retirement. Carefully, she mines the failing memories of her aging mother to revive a mysterious Uncle and relive the tragic downfall of her brother. Catherine remembers, and in the process, discovers darker family secrets, long silenced, and their devastating aftermath.
Spanning decades between rural Alberta and Winnipeg, All That Belongs is an elegant examination of our own ephemeral histories, the consequences of religious fanaticism, and the startling familial ties–and shame—that bind us.
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