By Helen Pereira
Unique and beautiful in itself, a pearl becomes more valuable when combined with others of equal worth, and becomes a set. So too are the short stories of Helen Pereira. While each is individually valuable, connected they become complete. The theme of the collection is how leaving home precipitates new insights, wakes old memories and creates personal fictions or distortions, like ‘a play beneath the play.’ The changes of moving, growing and building relationships give new meaning to each home as memories change and evolve.
Through these stories the reader can follow Annie MacDonald’s progress through life — from her childhood and adolescence in Kettle Valley, B.C.; through her years as a young wife in northern Ontario; her once again single, middle years in Toronto; her second marriage into a different culture and the culmination of all these experiences in the final story, A Ten for the Postcard.
In this collection Pereira shows a sensitivity to the thought processes of a person over several decades, affected by geographic location, the people close to her, the various decades in which she lives, and her growing social awareness.