The Brow of Dawn: One Woman's Journey with MS


160 pages
ISBN 1-894838-14-9
DDC 362.196'834'0092





Illustrations by Dale McNevin
Reviewed by Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas is a middle-school guidance counselor, teacher, and social
worker in Milton, Ontario.


Catherine Edward is a lyrical writer. Her personal story is filled with
the jagged edges of pain but she makes them smooth and poetic. Her
disease is horrific yet, preferring optimism, adaptability, humour, and
beauty, she calls it the Magnificent Splendour rather than Multiple

It is sometimes difficult to follow the story if you are accustomed to
linear narratives. Like notes in a personal diary, the names of
children, husband, brother, parents, friends fall into the tale, make an
impression, and then recede just as easily. The author wonders how her
MS is affecting her children; she paints brief pictures of how her
children affect her life. Her supportive husband, sometimes more
colourful and more clearly heard, is always there.

Trips to the woods, digging in the garden, journeys to far-off places,
cutting flowers, harvesting small crops, swimming in the ocean off the
sandy beaches of PEI—these are the activities that surface again and
again in the book. Even when Edwards is immobilized by her disease, she
keeps her attention, and ours, on the world’s immense beauty. As she
struggles to stay strong in spirit and in strength, she reminds us how
humour, courage, and the love of friends and family nourish the soul.

The Brow of Dawn offers an inspiring message for people with
debilitating diseases and those who know them.


Edward, Catherine., “The Brow of Dawn: One Woman's Journey with MS,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024,