All Gone Widdun

Written by Annamarie Beckel
Review by Don E. Hill

This is the fictionalized story of the actual search for the remaining members of the Beothuk tribe — the aborigines of Newfoundland. The search was carried out in the early 1800s by the main character in the story.

The mores and beliefs of the time, both scientific and social, are shown to a high degree of accuracy. The treatment of the Irish and the Indians reflect the times. The role of women and the beginnings of change are quite subtly introduced. A precise use of the scientific method by the main character and his two professors can be followed throughout the story. However, his scientific method does not interfere with the romance; if anything, it enhances the problems suffered in both.

The Indian storyline and the romantic threads are woven in with the problems of business conducted on two continents, and the pace of the story is held steady throughout. There is a minor inconsistency with a bonnet being thrown to the floor of a gig, then being taken off at a later time — but this does not affect the flow of the narrative.

I enjoyed this book very much, and I would recommend it to anyone. It is not only a historical novel, but also a romance and a tale of man’s thought of his government. It is also a story of the first voices of women’s liberation.