Publisher: McClelland and Stewart Limited
Pages: 153 pages
Source: Dad’s Book
Genre: Fiction, Canadian Literature, Humour, Classics, Short Stories
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
“I don’t know whether you know Mariposa. If not, it is of no consequence, for if you know Canada at all, you are probably well acquainted with a dozen towns just like it” (1).
I’m always looking for more Canadian authors to read, and thanks to my dad I’ve found Stephen Leacock.
My dad re-read the book this summer and recommended it to me because of the author’s humour, and because it’s a Canadian classic, and it’s based on Leacock’s hometown of Orillia, Ontario where many people at the time were annoyed that Leacock had written about the town, until the book became a hit and began identifying which characters they were in the book. My curiousity by this point was peaked of course, so I had to read the book.
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a tiny book made up of twelve vignettes of the daily life of the fictional Canadian town of Mariposa. Readers get to meet a variety of quirky characters from the enormous Mr. Smith to the strange tempered Judge Pepperleigh and his daughter Zena, who is being courted by banker Peter Pupkin. We meet the barber Jefferson Thorpe and the Reverend Drone, we learn about a weird Whirlwind Campaign, a steamboat “disaster,” a surprising election, and a nostalgic train ride to Mariposa.
It’s a sweet, charming, and easy read and an ode to rural Canada. I don’t have much to say without spoiling anything, it is a small book after all, and you should get to meet the people of Mariposa and see the town itself with me ruining it for you. Just know that Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a perfect Canadian classic, and I hope it’s one that is read for years to come.