A Jest of God

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 1993 - Fiction - 215 pages
43 Reviews
A thirty-four-year-old school teacher living with her mother, Rachel Cameron feels trapped in an environment of small-town deceit and pettiness—her own and that of others. She longs for contact with another human being who shares her rebellious spirit. Finally, by confronting both love and death, Rachel earns the freedom she desperately needs.

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, A Jest of God was also the basis of the movie Rachel, Rachel.

"Mrs. Laurence tells [her story] unsparingly, with absolute authority, using her thorough understanding of Rachel to draw us into her anguish. We know Rachel, sympathize with her, and in a sense, become Rachel, so authentic is her voice. . . . A Jest of God has extraordinary clarity, beautiful detail, as well as the emotional impact of honest confession."—Joan J. Hall, Saturday Review

"Laurence's rendition is close to faultless . . . reaffirming her ability to draw, without pathos, life-sized women. . . . Skillfully wrought and eloquently told."—Marilyn Gardner, Christian Science Monitor

One of Canada's most accomplished writers, Margaret Laurence(1926-1987) was the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Governer General's Litarary Award for The Diviners and A Jest of God.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dabble58 - LibraryThing

I was raised in the US and had little introduction to Laurence except through the Diviners, which I remembered primarily because of the sperm stain on the woman's dress. (I led a sheltered life and ... Read full review

Review: A Jest of God (Manawaka Sequence)

User Review  - Bradley Sykes - Goodreads

My reading of the book became disjointed in the beginning and I wasn't sure of how much I was getting into Rachel's world. But surely, through Laurence's fantastic and incisive prose, Rachel's rather ... Read full review

Contents

One
7
Two
26
Three
45
Four
66
Five
81
Six
103
Seven
119
Eight
135
Nine
158
Ten
178
Eleven
189
Twelve
198
Afterword
211
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Canadian author Margaret Laurence was born Jean Margaret Wemyss in Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada, on July 18, 1926. She attended United College (now the University of Winnipeg), receiving her B.A. in 1947. Shortly after graduation, she married Jack Laurence, a hydraulic engineer whose job would often take them overseas; the Laurences lived in England for a year, moved to British Somaliland in 1950, and then to Ghana in 1952. It was in Africa that Laurence wrote her first book, A Tree for Poverty, which was a translation of Somali poetry and stories. She also wrote about her experiences in Somaliland in a travel memoir, The Prophet's Camel Bell, and used Africa as a setting for her first fictional work, a novel called This Side Jordan, and a collection of short stories, The Tomorrow Tamers. This Side Jordan received the 1961 Beta Sigma Phi Award for the best first novel by a Canadian. Laurence is best known, however, for her Manawaka books, which are set in Canada. They include The Stone Angel, The Fire Dwellers House, A Bird in the House, A Jest of God, and The Diviners. The latter two books both received the Governor General's Award, in 1967 and 1975, respectively. After living in Africa, England, and several other countries for many years, Laurence returned to Canada in 1974, settling in Lakefield, Ontario, where she remained until her death in 1987. The Energy Probe Research Foundation, an environmental organization for which she served as one of the directors, now sponsors the Margaret Laurence Fund for projects related to the environment and peace, areas in which Laurence was very active during the last decade of her life.

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