The August 9 Winnipeg Free Press article by Bill Redekop tried to balance the accepted story of Criddles of Aweme, with a new account in my recent book For Elise, Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead. Its pages give voice to Elise who with her children lived and worked on the Criddle Homestead.
In 2001 I courageously I set out to discover what secret the Vanes’ long-standing silence had hidden. My research uncovered an unbelievable story needing to be told. I adopted a relatively new genre, creative-non-fiction, in which the documents became the foundation of a true story. Contrary to Redekop’s claim that I did not use Mr. Criddle’s diary, my book is heavily indebted to it and based on his record. Plus Mr. Criddle’s character, and all his speech and actions are taken from his diary. Homestead records, tax returns, school reports, letters, reveal the family’s life within that framework. The decision to self-publish gave me the freedom to create a unique family narrative incorporating family pictures and the original documents. Before publication, my manuscript was carefully studied and advice received from authorities in Victorian society, religion, agriculture, nature, family dynamics, as well as from relatives in England and Canada. A newly printed, Third Edition of For Elise includes an index and displays the Manitoba Historical Society award on the cover.
To read Inside The Criddle Vane Saga