The Tramp Room
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$29.95 Paper, 160 pp.
A young girl falls asleep in the Joseph Schneider Haus and wakes up in the 1850s. At the same time, a tramp boy seeks sanctuary from a cruel master. Caught in the past, the young girl, Elizabeth Salisbury, is thrust into the drama of the tramp boy’s struggle to remain free.
In The Tramp Room, Nancy-Lou Patterson brings together her skills as scholar and author. Of her many scholarly works, Mennonite Traditional Art (1979), Wreath and Bough (1983), The Language of Paradise (1985) and some sixty articles are devoted to Mennonite culture. Her previous works for young adult readers include Apple Staff and Silver Crown (1985), The Painted Hallway (1992) and Barricade Summer (1996). Based on careful research and deep empathy for the communities she portrays, The Tramp Room is a major milestone in her creative career.
“In The Tramp Room, with great skill and tenderness, Nancy-Lou Patterson takes us on a magical life-affirming journey into mid-nineteenth century life at Kitchener’s Joseph Schneider Haus. Here we are witness to the unfolding of a fascinating and spiritually rewarding story set against a backdrop of the beautiful simplicity and hard work that made up the daily lives of the Mennonites in the period. The latest in her series of young adult novels, The Tramp Room celebrates the rituals that inform the most ordinary activities from cookie cutting to flax breaking as well as the beauty and artistry at the heart of everyday objects. An extremely moving and enriching experience, this book will enchant readers of all ages.”
— Jane Urquhart
“This neat little novel by contributing editor Nancy-Lou Patterson is historical fiction with the emphasison the historical. It is set in the 19th century in a Mennonite home in Ontario, Canada....The point thatmost struck me was the very difference in the tone of life. There were no bored children complaining aboutnot being able to make it to Disneyland....This is a world without short cuts and time-saving devices, in which time is neither frantically lost, nor squandered in ennui. In the end Patterson uses George MacDonald’s favorite Novalis quote, but it is not vital to a story which is more in the tradition of Katherine Paterson than Lewis or MacDonald. Still, if one is willing to time travel, this sweet little story brings spiritual lessons all its own.”
— James Prothero, The Lamp-Post
“The joy is in the details... and they are fascinating, from the preparation of flax for spinning to making candles and quilting potholders.”
— Mary Thomas, Canadian Review of Materials