|Plot Summary of Sylvanus Now|
|"Sylvanus Now is the youngest of four boys growing up in a fishing outport in Newfoundland on Canada's Atlantic coast in the 1950's. He lives with his mother, a widow, whose husband drowned, along with one of their sons, while fishing.
It is a difficult life, but Sylvanus loves the fishing, the ocean, his small outport home town, and the beautiful but harsh environment.
And he falls in love with Adelaide, a beautiful girl from a neighbouring outport. He saves his hard-earned money to buy a suit which he will wear to go and visit her.
Adelaide, meanwhile, hates her life as the oldest of many children. She feels her life is one of drudgery, scrubbing floors and looking after babies. Her one solace is going to school - she is bright and loves to read- and visiting the little church, where she dreams of going far away to become a missionary. It is very hard when she has to leave school to work with the fishery to help support the family.
She gets to leave home, but it is to the neighbouring outport, as the wife of Sylvanus. They love one another, and Sylvanus will do anything to make his Addy happy. He builds a nice house and promises she won't have to work with the fish again.
But things don't quite turn out as they hoped. The local way of fishing is being threatened. There are fewer and fewer fish, and the government, by trying to help, is making things more difficult for the fishermen. Some are willing to try the new ways, but Sylvanus stubbornly sticks to the way of life he believes in.
Adelaide's first baby is still-born, and then two subsequent babies die at birth. The young parents grieve in their own way, Addy by isolating herself, and Sylvanus by working longer and harder. Adelaide finally does find solace in helping her mother-in-law, Eva, with her garden.
The two women draw closer to one another, and Addy also comes to see the love and caring in her sisters-in-law, especially Suse, who had just irritated her before. Both Sylvanus and Adelaide grow and change in remarkable ways, considering their circumstances.
When the government decides to move the families of their outport to a different outport, where they will build schools and roads, Sylvanus and Adelaide are able to respond in a way that is true to themselves and to each other.
Tena van't Foort, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Sylvanus Now|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Life of a profession:
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- Canadian (Aboot!)
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- natural phenomena
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- an above average amount
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 8 ()
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Donna Morrissey Resident Scholar Profiles|
Tena van't Foort
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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