Walking on Water


110 pages
ISBN 0-921833-72-5
DDC C812'.54






Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp, a former professor of drama at Queen’s University, is
the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


Dave Carley is an award-winning playwright whose works have been
produced across Canada and the United States, and in many other
countries. Set in the pleasant city of Ashburnham (a sort of Canadian
Grover’s Corners) and spanning a 50-year period, Walking on Water
finds its catalyst in the apparent murder, in 1949, of Lee Kwan,
chauffeur for the town’s newspaper publisher. As the mystery of
Kwan’s death is explored (he was found dead under his employer’s
Packard), it becomes apparent that each of the play’s characters has
secrets to hide and a story to tell. Although it recalls Thornton
Wilder’s Our Town, Carley’s play is more hard-edged and less
sentimental. Its affinity with Wilder’s masterpiece lies in the
wonderful complexity of its characters, and in the warmth and humanity
of its storytelling. The audience gains an intimate knowledge of
Ashburnham and its citizens well before the play’s immensely
satisfying conclusion.


Carley, Dave., “Walking on Water,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/7552.