Book reviews are best when they come as surprises and are full of praise. This one is from Elizabeth McLean, author of “The Swallows Uncaged – A Narrative in Eight Panels.”
Every summer, in whatever boat of my dad’s that had not yet been smashed or sunk, we headed to one of the islands near Gunnar to camp for weeks at a time.
Elizabeth McLean: “I have now finished reading “Sun Dogs and Yellowcake.” It’s a lovely book. What impressed me the most is how well you combined the ‘serious’ account of radium-uranium and its industrial development in Canada with the human stories of the families who lived the mining life in Gunnar.
Their daily active lives, traumas and celebrations warmed my heart. They built a truly intimate and loving community in such an isolated and harsh environment. The workers of Gunnar and their families make the book precious. You were right to give them a voice.
The structure of the book is a marvel: the narrative interspaced with pertinent epigraphs, quotations, digressions, personal testimonies and reminiscences, and excellent maps and photos.
It is such an interesting book, and I mean interesting in the best sense of the word – absorbing to read, as well as satisfying to peruse visually. I thought a book about a uranium mine would be dry and tedious? Ha!
The ending is traumatic. I had tears in my eyes seeing the hospital float on the waves of Lake Athabasca.”
By Elizabeth McLean, author of “The Swallows Uncaged – A Narrative in Eight Panels.”
Thank you Elizabeth McLean for your thoughtful book review.