Shortly after moving here to the UK I bought Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul. I was (if I remember correctly) at Pearson Int’l Airport at the time, leaving behind my family to come back to the UK. I had that book for years, until a “friend” borrowed it & never brought it back. I loved that book. It made me laugh, it made me cry & above all else, it made me so damn proud to be a Canadian. The original Chicken Soup for Canucks truly was a book for the Canadian Soul, so I was really excited when I found out that there was a second one coming out.
I eagerly waited, hoping that this new offering would be full of the same kind of stories – stories about Canadians who had done honourable things, or about our great heritage, about our tributes to Canadian soldiers who died on foreign soil. So, while at home in Canada I bought it, using the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas.
I didn’t start reading it until the after we got home, and I really wish I hadn’t wasted my money. The first book was amazing – the stories were great. This one? Well, I am less than impressed, I have to say. The sub-title of this book is 101 heartwarming and Inspiring Stories by and for Canadians – These stories are not uplifting, not heart-warming, not inspiring.
One of the first stories in the book is about a nurse who re-counts an event at work where 3 of her colleagues were gushing about the amount of money they save on their groceries by crossing the border from Cornwall, Ontario into Upstate New York. She goes on to mention the fact that the city of Cornwall is an economically depressed place & that if the locals aren’t supporting the local businesses, then what chance do they have? Well, she’s right, but instead of this being a heart-warming or inspiring story, it came across as her being all holier-than-thou. Did she ever stop to wonder why these women cross the border to shop? She says that they all have good jobs – maybe they do, but do their husbands? Sometimes you just have to do what you have to, to survive & if that means shopping in the US where it’s cheaper, then go for it, I say. Groceries in Ontario are bloody expensive – maybe someone should look into why so many people are having to cross the border to buy their groceries!
Another story is about this stupid girl who goes to a hockey game with her boyfriend & pretends to be interested in the game’s rules, asking him loads of questions, just to bug him. OH MY GOD!!!!! Is this what Canadian stories have been reduced to? I’ve only read 26 of these supposedly “Heartwarming and Inspiring Stories by and for Canadians” & I want to choke just about all of the authors so far! I think I might skip the rest of them, just to save myself from repeatedly shouting & throwing the book against the wall!