These Four Walls
Rose Morash is a woman who guards her privacy and her secrets. From an early age to old age, keeping certain things hidden was essential to her survival. It is only after Rose's death that her daughter Barbara uncovers some startling truths - truths that re-write the past and transform her own future.In Depression-era Halifax, 11-year-old Rose Morash and her sisters, Lily and Violet, are orphaned when tuberculosis claims both parents. Separated from their old sister Violet, and with no one else to turn to, Rose and Lily are packed off to the Protestant orphanage. The Home is full of strict rules, tedium, emotional neglect - and strangers. Only another orphan, Ora, proves worthy of Rose's friendship. We'll look out for each other, Rose. Promise.At eighteen, Rose, now a determined, focused young woman, quickly rids herself of the maid's apron and the sweatshop seamstress job, and moves up in the hierarchy of an elegant downtown department store. Amidst the chaos of WWII come new relationships and new losses. People aren't forever, Rose concludes as the war rages on. Don't count on them. These words, this motto, shape the choices she makes and the course her life takes. Years later, daughter Barbara tries the find renewed connection with her remote and bitter mother. Her efforts are in vain. It is only in the sorting of belongings, the packing of boxes, that Barbara finds the long-hidden truths of the woman she never fully knew.
Toronto : McArthur & Co., 2007.
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