“Toil and Peaceful Life” is the axiom that lies at the heart of Doukobor spiritual, personal, and community values. These values have always been, and continue to be, integral to the people who belong to this historically rich and vibrant community. During particular periods of their history, certain groups of Doukobors seemed to have carved a path that allowed them to embody and live these ideals in their daily lives and interactions. However, as the history of the Doukobor people demonstrates, putting this into practice was more difficult than envisioned and, paradoxically, has generated a great deal of conflict within the various spheres of the community itself – most certainly it has created conflicts with those from outside their self-contained community. It is at this juncture of conflict in the decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that the name Doukobor was to etch itself into the Canadian consciousness. It is during this time that Stenson sets his novel’s action against the backdrop of the Kootenay Region in and around Nelson, BC. To say Svoboda is a “Doukobor” novel is misleading, for it is much more than that. While Doukobor culture plays a central role in creating conflict, from the first few pages right to the end, it is also a novel of coming of age, a novel of accepting fate, and a great entertaining story.


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240 Pages
8.50in * 6.60in * .74in


September 15, 2007


Thistledown Press



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FICTION / Literary

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