Book Review: Whale Song A Novel by Cheryl Kaye Tardif


This is a short novel by a Canadian author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif. I love books that are a quick read, but don’t feel “short”. These kind of books keep you occupied, especially on planes or doctor’s waiting rooms and this is certainly one of those good short stories that you can finish in one sitting. The story keeps you interested and turning pages.

The main character, eleven year old Sarah Richardson, has her world uprooted when her parents move from a ranch in Wyoming to Vancouver Island, Canada. Her father is a biology professor who has taken a job studying killer whales. In the beginning, things are hard for Sarah to adjust to her new life and surroundings, but she soon meets Goldie Dixon, a neighbor of the same age who happens to be a Nootka Indian. Goldie’s older brother drowned and her Indian tradition believes that he has come back as a whale and speaks to her. As many children during these inquisitive years, she becomes fascinated with her new found friends and their Native American heritage. Soon Sarah has to deal with a devastating family tragedy and the story unfolds with how she handles it and triumphs from there.
I did find that the first half of the book was more “meaty” and kept my interest. Author, Tardif describes Canada with such beauty and takes time to describe in detail her new life. I feel that some of those details are missing in the 2nd half of the book, when she is growing up as a teenager and searching for answers regarding her mother’s death.
Overall a good quick read.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Kunati Inc. (April 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1601640072
Review written by Christine Miserandino, © 2007