Marcy Waldner asked:
Question for anyone who's read this book. I've added it to my ELA 30 Canadian Literature course, but since I haven't pre-read it I'd like feedback from readers on any potentially "mature" content you recall is in it. I have mature students, they understand there are mature themes and content in the books available to choose from. I just like a heads up. Anyone remember anything too steamy or sexual in the book?
Lee A dead corpse of a murder/rape is described in detail. One of the characters can be graphic. While the story takes place in the 1800s, depending upon the age/level of your students, the dialogue specifically of this character can at times not be as obvious. Again, it all depends upon the age/level of your students, and thus this should be taken into consideration. Notwithstanding, it is not steamy as noted below. IMHO, it is an excellent book. It was published in 2002, yet the writing and the dialogue of all the characters are so to the 1800s it is remarkable.
Janel Halpern There are several people in love in this book, but nothing really too steamy. I think Vanderaeghe is a wonderful writer and was not out to describe provocative sex . Remember that the book takes place in the late 1800s, not a particularly open society in America, East or West. However, you do come to know all the characters who were on the trip, characters that I am not likely to meet in person any time soon. Each individual tells the reader about him or herself, sometimes honestly, sometimes hiding shame, fear or aggression. You didn't say what level your students are on, but I think the book is a complex introduction to the opening of West.