Memories of the Beach: Reflections on a Toronto Childhood
by Lorraine O'Donnell Williams

Dundurn Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-554-88389-9.
Reviewed by Susan M. Andrus
Posted on 07/25/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Active Life; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment

Lorraine O'Donnell Williams grew up living at the foot of Hammersmith Avenue on Hubbard Blvd., paralleling Toronto's beachfront, with her parents, sister and brother. Her father traveled as a salesman, and her mother often met friends at the beach, leaving Lorraine to explore the mysteries along the shore, and later, the city itself, as she attended school and college. Williams' research and apparent photographic memory brings back names, places, and details that I had long forgotten growing up on the opposite shore of Lake Ontario in New York around the same time. What fun it was for me to read about her experiences and reminisce about those years.

Williams explains that growing up in the 1930s and 40s things were different. At that time, she had unlimited freedoms unknown to children today. She says, "By learning about times that were different, this generation may be encouraged to know that life was and can be different. That it's possible to restore some of that innocence into their world." Loaded with photos from her life, this memoir, although sometimes needing smoother transitions, reawakens our own memories of times gone by.

Lorraine O'Donnell Williams was born and raised in the Beach district of Toronto. Her careen has included senior positions in the correctional, forensic psychiatry, and psychiatric fields of social work. The mother of five adult children, she recently retired from private practice to write full-time and currently lives with her husband in Markham, Ontario.

Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person. has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.

StoryCircleBookReviews provides a review venue for women self-published authors and for women's books published by independent and university presses.

Email me with news about your book reviews

Sarton Women's Book Award

Your ad could be here.
Advertise with us!


Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and goodreads.

Buy books online through by simply clicking on the book cover or title. Your purchase will support our work of encouraging all women to tell their stories.
This title is currently available ONLY as an e-book