Winnipeg's boom-town days at the turn of the nineteenth century come to life through the eyes of Baldur, a boy from Gimli, the Icelandic immigrant settlement on the southernmost shore of Lake Winnipeg. Both city and boy grow from innocence to savvy creatures of business as they mature, fall in love, and survive the politics of a competitive, cut-throat society. Arnason's Leacock-nominated humour permeates this simply told story but takes a subtle turn under the drama of passionate young hearts struggling to find their places in the New World. At the same time he discovers his musical talent whistling to the dead in the village graveyard, Baldur encounters his first and life-long love, Lara, a girl of mystery and fey spirit. Her father, Gudmundur Palsson, is an influential and intimidating community leader who gives Baldur his first big break as a musician, but later becomes a competitor when Baldur teams up with ambitious real-estate mogul Johnny Ashdown. Notable characters like Ashdown, Palsson, and Lara bring early Winnipeg to life. Older neighbourhoods like the West End, Wolseley, West Broadway, and the Exchange District are immediately recognizable, and readers navigate the dirt streets and boardwalks with Baldur in Arnason's vivid narrative.
Used availability for David Arnason's Baldur's Song
August 2010 : Canada Paperback