|It Rained at Harvest Time|
Memoirs of the Forever Prairie
by Reta Evens Simons
Edited by S. Leigh Matthews
About the Author
Reta Evens, later Simons, grew up on the Western Canadian prairie nearly 100 years ago. In many ways the life she describes seems entirely different from what most of us experience today. In other ways, related to human nature and behavior, we are all too much the same. While conditions she describes were often difficult, Reta brings levity to the mix with her impromptu illustrations, sprinkled throughout the text. Originally, these sketches were rendered in ball point pen in the margins of her handwritten manuscript. Sketches from an art notes book she made for school are also included, art history class being one of the highlights of her early education. These were done with the pen shown below. Drawings and a few adventuresome sewing projects she undertook, with no training, give hints as to skills she developed later in life.
This book deals with her childhood years. At the end of the eighth grade, there were no high schools on the prairie and she faced the rest of her life working on the farm. A combination of events, along with the fact that it happened to rain one harvest day, changed her life forever.
And this was just the beginning.
About the Editor
Dr. S. Leigh Matthews is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. She reads, researches and publishes mainly in the areas of Life Writing and Canadian Literature and has published a book titled Looking Back: Canadian Women’s Prairie Memoirs and Intersections of Culture, History, and Identity (University of Calgary Press, 2010).