Review of Keepers of the Garden

Drawn to novels based on real people and events, I was enthusiastic about reading A. S. Rodlie’s Keepers of the Garden for The BC Review. There aren’t many novels focussed on early fur trade history of the Pacific Northwest, making this one particularly intriguing. Having some familiarity with the few sources of the doomed Pacific Fur Company and its fort, Astoria, it soon became apparent to me that Rodlie had gone far beyond filling in historical gaps. The portrayal of the 19th-century British-Canadian fur traders was at first jarring, then disturbing, especially in the American derogatory slang peppering their dialogue. Misplaced in both the people and the era, such incongruities detract from the abundant drama of the real events.

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