Roots & Adventures: A Prairie Childhood
by Lorraine Lohr Cathro

Friesen Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-460-23801-1.
Reviewed by Linda Hoye
Posted on 08/04/2015

Nonfiction: Memoir

The announcement that heralded author Lorraine Lohr Cathro's birth was in the form of a book and announced "a New Edition" so, in a sense, she comes full circle with Roots & Adventures: A Prairie Childhood. The book is like a well-worn family heirloom patchwork quilt and is a mixture of family history, memoir, and creative non-fiction.

The first part of the book is an account of Cathro's genealogical family history and is peppered with stories. She brings her ancestors to life using story and, as a result, they become three-dimensional rather than simply names on someone's family tree. Some tales have been passed down through the family, and many others begin with "I remember..." as the author's own memories breathe life into the people she writes about.

Cathro moves on from the historical accounts to stories about her own growing up years as she tells us about her family's penchant for music and good food (she includes some family recipes), farm life, and growing up on the Canadian prairie. I found many familiar touchpoints in the stories about her coming of age years as I too grew up on the Canadian prairie in roughly the same time period.

This is a historical account that will be of interest to Cathro's family as well as anyone with a desire to look back at how one family came to settle on the Canadian prairie and become part of the community. Of interest to me was the fact that both her mother and father penned their own family history books—this appreciation of history seems to be in the author's blood. This book is rich with detail and was an interesting foray into the author's family history.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Lorraine Lohr Cathro was raised on a farm south-west of Stettler, Alberta. She has degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and taught at the university level for 20 years. She changed careers and was an investment advisor/stockbroker for a brokerage firm in Calgary. Now retired, Lorraine resides with her husband, Doug, on an acreage in the M.D. of Foothills. They have two grown children and two granddaughters. Visit her website.

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