After her husband died in 1927, leaving her with five small children, everyone expected the struggles of single motherhood on a remote island to overcome M. Wylie Blanchet. Instead, this courageous woman became one of the pioneers of "family travel," acting as both mother and captain of the twenty-five-foot boat that became her family's home during the long Northwest summers. Blanchet's lyrically written account reads like fantastic fiction, but her adventures are all very real. There are dangers-rough water, bad weather, wild animals-but there are also the quiet respect and deep peace of a woman teaching her children the wonder and awesome depth of the natural world. "Filled with observations on natural history and the wonders of the wild, (Blanchet's) prose, like the waterfall she describes, sings."-Kliatt
Acting as both “captain” and mother, she and her children enjoyed their summers of freedom. Although there were dangers from bad weather, rough water and wild animals there were also great rewards. They met some interesting people who chose to live away from the rest of mankind but were happy to act as hosts to this small family, they were also helped and guided by the commercial fishermen and the loggers who were working in the areas that they travelled. They spent their summers discovering beautiful beaches, secret coves, and deserted Indian villages. This type of vacation travel was unusual to say the least and the fact that she was a women caused many people to sit up and take notice.
The author’s love of nature and her family comes across on every page in this book. Her memoirs read like a chatty letter from a favoured aunt, light and informative, but any deep understanding of her motives and inner thoughts she keeps to herself. I found myself reading this book with a chart of the coastal waters at my side so I could visual the routes she took and the places she visited. The Curve of Time was a charming and enjoyable read but I couldn’t help feeling that if the author had been a little more forth coming and had fleshed out the characters a little more fully, this would be a true Canadian classic.
Fishing for dinner, the food they'd stored aboard, traded or bought along their way. They were a family that adventured together both afloat and ashore