Lethal Lesson by Iona Whishaw

I did take a break from Maisie Dobbs to read the latest in the Lane Winslow series from Iona Whishaw. (I really need to read a stand-alone novel…) It’s a great continuation in these stories set in the interior of British Columbia after WWII. The plot in this one is particularly good, keeping you guessing in the best possible way. And, like Jaqueline Winspear, you learn a lot about the roles of women amidst difficult cultural constraints.

I write this in the week when 200 bodies of indigenous children, most from BC tribes, were found on the grounds of an old boarding school in Quebec. Here is a quote from Dorothy L. Sayers which speaks to the constraints against women and the racial hatred that forms so much of our society:

To oppose one class perpetually to another–young against old, manual labour against brain-worker, rich against poor, woman against man–is to split the foundations of the State; and if the cleavage runs too deep, there remains no remedy but force and dictatorship. If you wish to preserve a free democracy, you must base it–not on classes and categories, for this will land you in the totalitarian State, where no one may act or think except as the member of a category. You must base it upon the individual Tom, Dick and Harry, and the individual Jack and Jill–in fact, upon you and me.

-Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? (1947) (Another good read on the subject.)

So if you’ve gotten into the Lane Winslow stories, I do recommend Lethal Lesson.

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