Destination Prairie

Cathie Bartlett


Canadiana (Alberta), fiction, YA and adult

Book Description:

Set in the early 1920s, Destination Prairie tells the story of young Grace Sinclair, sent from her home in Scotland to rural Alberta to look after her brother's motherless children. Barely one year after her arrival she is pushed out and despatched to another place to work for an unfriendly couple she does not know. There follows a dark time but eventually Grace regains control of her life and ends up in Edmonton in a much happier situation. She also makes a close friend with an aboriginal woman her age, a lifelong friendship with an unexpected turn.

My book began in Rutherford House in Edmonton, home of Alberta's first premier. Touring the maid's quarters - a sunny bedroom, private bathroom and sitting room - and hearing how well the Rutherfords treated their hired staff, prompted me to delve into the role of the domestic in the Canadian west.