I wanted to really like this book, I did. And parts of it I do like. Scoones definitely favoured some neighbourhoods over others, which contributed to an uneven presentation. I appreciated her writing about some of my favourite things in Victoria; at the same time I wondered why she left so many others out, like the Galloping Goose trail, more about Chinatown, etc. Felt like she glossed over (or ignored) some things that may be more known. I live in Esquimalt and felt she gave it short shrift. We are more than a series of shops strung between two Tim Hortons. I did enjoy some of her descriptions, though others seem cloying to me. I don't know Anny Scoones but my impression of her was that she was in her late 70s, based on her writing style, words and tone. I was surprised to find out she is barely in her 50s. I had intended to check this book out and then probably buy copies to send to friends and relatives who don't live in Victoria. Changed my mind. I do love Robert Amos' illustrations.
I have lived in Victoria for 30 years and I still learned many new things from this book. Loved the stories. The paintings by Robert Amos were a great addition. I intend to buy copies to give as gifts.
In "Hometown," esteemed storyteller Anny Scoones strolls through the diverse neighbourhoods of Victoria, BC. She discusses their history, points out their main characteristics and discovers the quaint, quirky charms that lend each a unique personality. Scoones' prose reads smoothly and she effortlessly combines descriptions of public art, monuments and heritage sites to give a sense of immediacy to each area. However, her tone and approach remains so similar throughout each chapter that some paragraphs become tedious, especially in her longer chapters.
One hundred and twenty whimsical watercolours by the great Robert Amos accompany Scoones' writing. Though this sounds like a lot, I wished Amos had included more art and that at least one illustration graced every page. Ultimately, however, this book provides a lovely and authentic look at a beautiful city for both visitors and locals alike.
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