Between Men

Viking Canada, 1987

Penguin Canada, 1988
Viking and Penguin U.K., 1988

Available at your local library or secondhand bookstore.

BETWEEN MEN is the powerful story of a woman's dilemma in the present and her obsession with the past.

At 32 Suzanne Vail is caught between two men: her nearly ex-husband Ace-a wealthy charmer who never grew up-and Simon, an older politician who seduces her with his talk of the "grand love affair".

Suzanne teaches a course on "Re-inventing the West" at a Calgary University, but her real interest is in one particular story- that of Rosalie New Grass, a Cree woman brutally murdered in 1889, whose silence in the hour of her death echoed down the century to become a desperate cry. Her own emotions increasingly at risk, Suzanne becomes obsessed with Rosalie's story, and in exploring the secret of Rosalie's life she must recognise and reconcile the realities of her own.

The dark romance of the late ninteenth century frontier and the unravelling of one of western Canada's most shocking murders is played out against a lively, witty scene of women's lives in the eighties. Katherine Govier explores the unsure terrain of sexual relationships with an instinctive and deft understanding. BETWEEN MEN is at once a vivid portrait of another era, a compelling story of a contemporary woman's dilemma and a fascinating mystery.


"Themes of feminism and independence are struck with a revelation so brutal it appears to warp time into a single line of fate."— The Toronto Star