Ron Evans was born in Saskatchewan in 1936. With the exception of four years in a parish, his working life was spent as a chaplain and teacher in psychiatric and general hospitals in Houston, California, and Saskatchewan. In another life, he would ask to have the courage to be an actor or join the circus; as it was he got only as far as the church.
Short-listed for the 2002 Saskatchewan Book Awards for Best Non-Fiction and Best Book
The stories in Coming Home are as surprising as the landscape of Saskatchewan itself and as varied as its weather. Through the author’s reminiscences, we experience prairie life as it was more than sixty years ago, and as it is today.
A rich cast of characters appears — neighbours, drunks, misfits — all with a place in the story. These are the tales of a father who lived hard, failed often, and was loved much, of a mother who was an artist at heart but became a teacher and farmer’s wife through circumstance.
We visit a prairie dance hall with a floor that rests on horsehair, encounter death, baptize a child, participate in a nude massage. We view sex from a farm boy’s perspective, learn of home brew and cabbage rolls, eat breakfast with friends, and meet the author’s favourite waitress. A sense of awe and wonder emerges through encounters with the land and the unfolding of the changing seasons.
The country and the early life are the touchstones in this book. Evans wanted to do more than just string together a series of anecdotes, and he succeeded.