Believe Me


264 pages
ISBN 0-679-31345-1
DDC C813'.6




Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.


Patricia Pearson’s second novel presents another chapter in the life
of Frannie Mackenzie, editor and young mother of five-year-old Lester.
Frannie’s elderly mother-in-law Bernice is near death, and Frannie
must deal with her husband Calvin’s responses, her son’s
never-ending questions about mortality, and her own vague and shaky
belief system.

When she thinks of death, Frannie admits, “the two thoughts that form
in my brain are scary and go away.” She finds herself looking for
illumination from a variety of sources, including the church, shamanism,
and political viewpoints. Through facing and accepting Bernice’s
imminent death, she is able to grow in her spirituality and to recognize
the truth of the words of a priest who advises her: “ ‘Religion
begins with a consciousness that something is asked of us.’ ”

While Pearson’s novel poignantly highlights the demands imposed on
the “sandwich” generation, at times it seems overly ambitious in its
attempt to deal with a multitude of issues—parenting, various kinds of
spirituality, marriage, friendship, the working world, and political
philosophies. Caveat aside, Believe Me is an engaging novel that will
inspire readers to reflect on their own beliefs about God, death, and
the afterlife.


Pearson, Patricia., “Believe Me,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024,