Growing Up With Julie is the story of Gerry Steele’s childhood with a French-speaking mother in an English-speaking community. Set in Miscouche, near Summerside, Prince Edward Island, in the early part of the 20th century, the story is an historical snapshot of a life heavily influenced by the Catholic church, poverty and the Depression, alcoholism, and cultural tensions between the Acadians and the Scots. At the head of the family is Steele’s grandmother, a woman unwavering in her beliefs—regardless of their merit, validity, or tendency to offend. It is also a story of one woman’s determination to educate her children in a hard-living rural society coming to terms with modernity.
Gifted with an excellent memory for detail, Gerry Steele delivers a story that is rich in integrity and precision, with a good dose of humour to brighten up the dark corners.