Cover image for Come from away : memory, war, and the search for a family's past
Come from away : memory, war, and the search for a family's past
Macfarlane, David, 1952-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Poseidon Press, [1991]

Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT309.G66 M33 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In great loops and sweeps of prose, David MacFarlane captures us in this strange and profound work. It is simultaneously a study of the history and economics of Newfoundland; a musing on the intangibles of heritage; a celebration of northern beauties; a history of a commercial company; and the most sensuously detailed (and therefore most excruciating) narrative of war to appear in decades. Masterfully, MacFarlane lanyards these strains together into a dense prose coil: we move from the unquenchable fires of Newfoundland to an uncle lighting a match, to the lost writings of that uncle--gone to flames in Canada--and back to the uncle's death by unfriendly fire. Newspaper articles, family stories, official history, rumors, and imagination all play their part in this stunning book, one of the best nonfiction titles of the year. ~--Pat Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, a far cry from Grand Falls, Newfoundland, where his maternal great-grandparents, the Josiah Goodyears, raised their seven children. In this chronicle of his grandparents' generation, Macfarlane deftly intertwines personal memory, family lore and vivid images of WW I battles where three of the Goodyear brothers perished. His grandfather, partner with two surviving brothers in the construction business, built roads, hauled freight, operated general stores and strongly opposed confederation with Canada. In the end, the brothers went bankrupt. Macfarlane portrays the exploitation of Newfoundland by outsiders and its decline from prosperous colony to desperately poor province in this engaging story of people and events. Photos. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As a boy, Macfarlane listened to his relatives spin tall tales and was convinced that Newfoundland ``contained all the best stories in the world.'' As he traces the fortunes of his family through frozen winters, bouts with tuberculosis, and the losses of World War I, we glimpse a history of the entire island--its confederation with Canada, the failing fishing industry, unemployment that is twice the national average, cockeyed dreams of finding Captain Kidd's treasure, the railways and indoor cucumber farms that promised to make everyone rich. In a curious, evocative blend of autobiography, history, and fiction, Macfarlane puts Newfoundland on the map and persuades us that this is a place where the poorest of characters has something rich to say. Highly recommended for public libraries and academic collections.-- Rita Ciresi, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.