On Double Tracks


245 pages
ISBN 0-88619-241-2
DDC C813'.54




Reviewed by Susan Patrick

Susan Patrick is a librarian at the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.


On Double Tracks is a multilayered work dealing with such varied themes
as the clash of cultures and appropriation (both cultural and
geographical); the nature of memory and dreams, and mental maps to guide
one through life; family relationships; and consent and acquiescence.
The plot concerns an aboriginal land claim in which the aboriginals are
represented by a young, female lawyer who must battle against the
inexplicable hostility of the elderly judge trying the case. Pinder
flashes back to both the lawyer’s and the judge’s childhood
traumas—of which they have no memories—to illuminate their present
emotional makeups, so that the novel’s psychological themes reflect
and are reflected by the sociopolitical themes. Much of the writing is
on a symbolic level, and there is a dream or trance-like quality as the
author drifts into the minds of her characters. This is a gripping and
thought-provoking novel with themes that are both timely and timeless.


Pinder, Leslie Hall., “On Double Tracks,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30849.