Sharon Johnston portrays her true-to-life characters through good times and bad, during the 30s and 40s in the Soo. Most importantly, she writes with honesty, respect, and a good measure of love.
Frances Itani, author of Tell
In her matter-of-fact style, Sharon Johnston creates an engaging narrative of life in and around Sault Ste. Marie as witnessed by her grandmother, recounting her reports of the daily experiences of First Nations children in residential schools — housed in condemned buildings, forbidden to speak their language, lacking proper healthcare, stripped of their identity. Patchwork Society is a must read for those who want to know about the damaging legacy of the past which underlies the situations we all face today.
Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO, Indspire
Set in the expanding city of Sault Ste Marie, Patchwork Society portrays the myriad peoples, immigrant, Native, and White, who are banding together to try to create a new society. Gripping and heartbreaking!
David Staines, literary critic and professor at University of Ottawa
Patchwork Society is an authentic and rather jarring account of ‘the Soo’ — it describes a community bound together by the beauty and isolation of the north; yet reveals a complex (patchwork) society, defined by the social, cultural and economic diversity of a unique and resilient town.
Karen Jurjevich, Principal, Branksome Hall
A thrilling and thought-provoking examination of systematic racism, gender-based bias, and small-town culture, Patchwork Society is page-turning historical fiction that will both illuminate and entertain.
A brilliant novel of life, politics, treatment of Indigenous children, and systemic racism... Highly recommended.
Historical Novel Society