Broken Ground illustrates impact of war

By Jen Garceau
Port Hardy Secondary School
Port Hardy, British Columbia

Broken Ground is a novel written by Canadian author Jack Hodgins. It takes place post-World War I, in Portuguese Creek on Vancouver Island. The story is written in the perspective of various community members, telling about the same event.

A fire about 10 km away brings the entire town together. The people who tell this story vary from a little boy to shop keepers. The story grabs your attention right away with a stranger riding into town, and then a town member getting injured. Perhaps the most compelling component of this story would be the fact that while reading it, you realize that this happened close to where you are now.


I found that reading in close to Remembrance Day added a special feeling throughout the whole book. It exemplified the hardship and tribulations that went on during the war, and surviving from the war. The author also created vivid images, making the telling of events easy to imagine.

The author's idea on how to present this story was unique and at first it was the best thing about this book. But I do not recommend this for students to read. Because of the many characters, and different versions of events, it became confusing. The level is difficult, and I found that it became a chore to finish. It carries on, and gets rather boring and dull.