The Diviners by Margaret Laurence
The Diviners by Margaret Laurence is a landmark work of Canadian literature, and one that continues to captivate and inspire readers around the world. This beautifully written novel takes us on a journey through the life of Morag Gunn, a young girl growing up in rural Canada, who grapples with issues of identity, belonging, and the search for meaning in a world that can often feel alienating and confusing.
The novel is divided into three parts, each of which explores a different phase of Morag's life. In the first part, we are introduced to Morag as a young girl, struggling to find her place in the world and deal with the pain of her mother's death. This loss shapes Morag's life and her sense of self, as she struggles to come to terms with her mother's death and find her place in the world. Through her interactions with her Auntie, who becomes a surrogate mother figure for her, we see Morag begin to develop a sense of self and belonging, despite the challenges she faces.
The second part of the novel takes us to Toronto, where Morag has moved to attend university. Here, she becomes involved with a group of artists and intellectuals who push her to explore her own creativity and intellectual curiosity. It is here that Morag begins to discover her own psychic abilities, which become a source of both fascination and fear for her. This part of the novel is marked by Morag's relationship with Jules, a man who becomes a significant figure in her life and who helps her to explore the complexities of love, intimacy, and desire.
The third and final part of the novel sees Morag return to her hometown, where she has become a successful writer. Here, she confronts her past and comes to terms with her own identity, reconnecting with her roots and her Indigenous heritage. This part of the novel is marked by Morag's interactions with her family and community, as she begins to understand the importance of community and belonging, and the ways in which our identities are shaped by the places we come from.
Throughout the novel, there are several key moments that shape Morag's journey. One of these is the death of her mother, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel and establishes Morag's sense of loss and longing. Another key moment is when Morag first discovers her psychic abilities, which adds a layer of complexity to her character and sets her apart from those around her. The novel also explores themes of race and identity, as Morag grapples with her own mixed-race heritage and the ways in which she is both part of and separate from her community.
Margaret Laurence's writing is lyrical and evocative, and her characters are complex and fully realized. The Diviners is a powerful and moving novel that explores the complexities of human experience with honesty and sensitivity. It is a work of great depth and resonance, and one that will stay with readers long after they have finished reading it.