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by Daphne Bramham. 464 pages. Random House Canada. Reviewed by Christine Hearn.

Award-winning Vancouver Sun journalist Daphne Bramham (MALS’99) delves into a fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon sect with communities in Bountiful, B.C., and several American states. These are communities where young girls are married to men old enough to be their grandfathers, where the main role of women is to produce children, and where education is of so little importance most children don’t finish high school.

Bramham’s columns on the situation in Bountiful won a National Newspaper Award in June 2005. She has also been honoured for the series by the non-profit group Beyond Borders.

Central to the story is Canadian leader Winston Blackmore, father to scores of children by dozens of wives, many of them teenagers when they married him. Bramham chronicles Blackmore’s ties with American leader Warren Jeffs and the feuds over money and influence that tore the two men apart. Jeffs, once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, is now serving 10 years to life in Utah State Prison after being found guilty on two accomplice-to-rape charges.

Blackmore, meanwhile, is still living and prospering in Bountiful in the province’s East Kootenay region. It’s a town where young girls are married off to be second and third wives to old men, while young boys work for less than minimum wage at Blackmore’s various logging and construction enterprises.

Out of Oil?

Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl, looks at a world on the cusp of a transportation revolution as oil reserves are depleted. Perl is director of SFU’s urban studies program, while Gilbert is an urban issues consultant. <http://transportrevolutions.info/>

Psychological Mystery

Trauma author Patrick McGrath (PDP’75) specializes in novels that focus on psychological suspense. His previous novels include Port Mungo, Asylum, and Spider. <www.randomhouse.com>

Soccer Memoir

Full-Time: A Soccer Story, by former SFU Shadbolt Fellow Alan Twigg, tells the tale of a group of over-50 Vancouver soccer players who go to Spain to play against younger ex-professionals from the Spanish First Division. It’s also a history of soccer in Canada.
<www.randomhouse.com>

Mysterious Vancouver

In the early 1900s specially designed silk trains had priority over all other trains and carried a fortune in silk from Vancouver to New York. In The Silk Train Murders first-time novelist Sharon Rowse (BA’80) recreates the murky world of pioneer Vancouver with its brothels, opium dens, and reeking mudflats.
<http://www.sharonrowse.com/order.php>

Another Mystery

Barrie Sherwood (BA’94) sets Escape from Amsterdam in Japan where he taught for a while. He now teaches creative writing at the University of East Anglia in England. <www.meettheauthor.co.uk/bookbites/>

Environmental Danger

In Canada’s Deadly Secret – Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System, Jim Harding (MA’70) documents Saskatchewan’s pivotal role in nuclear proliferation. He also addresses the negative impact that uranium mining has on environmental health and Aboriginal rights. <www.rabble.ca/bookstore>