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Whispers of War
dear reader


Anyone who has lived through a Winnipeg winter must wonder at some time why on earth anyone ever settled this land of snow, ice and wind. What were they like? What drove them to come to such an inhospitable place?

When the Dear Canada series was proposed and I was approached about writing a story, I naturally thought of the beginnings of this city. I began my research and discovered an amazing story of the first Selkirk settlers, fleeing Scotland for freedom, braving -30ºC in no more than shawls and skirts, walking and canoeing to the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and digging out a settlement amid fur trade wars and natural disasters.

When I learned that I could write a second Dear Canada diary, I naturally thought of World War II, a time period I have written about and studied extensively. I've written about what happened overseas, but not about what happened right here in Canada. Did you know that Jews were not welcome in Canada during the war, that our own government was anti-Semitic? It's a harrowing story, but one that needed to be told. I also learned so much about the spirit of Canadians in other ways — the bravery of those who volunteered to fight overseas, and the bravery of those who sacrificed at home. I hope, dear reader, you will find both these books as compelling to read as I found them to write.


- Carol Matas

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