Crocus Coulee in Bloom


157 pages
ISBN 1-55059-073-1
DDC 971.23'3




Illustrations by Ben Crane
Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras is a communication arts instructor in the Faculty of
General Studies, University of Calgary.


Crocus Coulee in Bloom is Betty Kilgour’s second collection of
vignettes that were originally published as weekly columns in a small
central Alberta newspaper. The author (a farm wife, mother, and
grandmother) writes about her rural experiences in Crocus Coulee and
voices opinions on various subjects with gentle humor, energy, and

The book is divided into several categories. “Of Olden Days”
contains Kilgour’s reminiscences of her youth; “Newfangled Things”
includes discussions of babies, women’s liberation, and wrinkles. In
another section, Kilgour describes the many jobs a farmer’s wife must
perform, while the remainder of the book looks at the activities,
holidays, and general characteristics associated with each of the four

What emerges most strongly from this book is its author’s
personality. Kilgour comes across as hardworking, courageous, and
honest, as a woman blessed with a strong identity and a healthy sense of
humor—qualities no doubt essential for surviving the rigors of farm
life. Kilgour’s book is not for everyone. It evokes a very traditional
value system and gender roles that might not sit well with some modern
readers. The author’s criticism of women’s liberation, for example,
reveals a somewhat eccentric understanding of the movement: “If we
[women] were equal to our men, we would have to ‘plough the fields and
scatter’ right along with them and then after a hard day in the field,
we’d have to come in and make supper!” Still, if light reading, a
few smiles, and a good look at the trials and tribulations of farm life
are desired, Crocus Coulee in Bloom nicely fits the bill.


Kilgour, Betty., “Crocus Coulee in Bloom,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,