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5 of 5
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list price: $21
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: Apr 2009
ISBN:9781550504019
publisher: Coteau Books

The Factory Voice

A Novel

by Jeanette Lynes

reviews: 1
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humorous
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $21
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: Apr 2009
ISBN:9781550504019
publisher: Coteau Books
About the Author
Jeanette Lynes is the author of six collections of poetry. Her most recent book of poems, Archive of the Undressed (2012), was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her previous poetry received the Bliss Carman Award and The New Quarterly's Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award. Lynes' seventh book of poems, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems is forthcoming from Wolsak and Wynn in 2015 under its Buckrider Books Imprint. Her first novel, The Factory Voice (2009) was long-listed for The Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award. She is the inaugural Coordinator of the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.
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Reader Reviews

Why hasn't this book been noticed?

I adored this book or, at least, I adored the story in this book.

It's 1941 and the war machine is cranking out planes just as fast as it can. Fort William Aviation is doing its bit by building Mosquito airplanes. But it needs workers, lots of workers to staff at least two shifts a day. They advertise all over the country. One of the people who reads the ad is Audrey, a 16-year-old farm girl from Spruce Grove, Alberta. Audrey is determined she isn't going to be made to marry the hired hand so she takes her parents' savings, hops on a train and heads east to Fort William. Also on the train is Muriel from Vancouver. Muriel is considerably older than Audrey and far more educated as she has trained as an aeronautical engineer. She is heading to Fort William Aviation to take up the post of Chief Engineer. The planes being turned out by the plant have been having problems and recently the test pilot broke his leg when the plane he was testing crashed. At the plant both Audrey and Muriel encounter Ruby, the head stenographer and chief writer of "The Factory Voice", the plant newspaper. Ruby is gorgeous, smells great and has a high opinion of her writing skills. Ruby is also in charge of hiring everyone and she agrees to hire Audrey as the snack cart girl. Ruby has also managed to get her childhood friend, Florence, a job even though Florence's mother is known as a "Red Finn". Florence is overweight, big-footed, has rotten teeth; in short she and Ruby are complete opposites.

All of these women have dreams and aspirations. Their work throws them together more than they otherwise would be. None of them are what you could call experienced when it comes to men. Ruby has had sex which resulted in a pregnancy that she terminated by visiting a doctor in Toronto but other than that experience she doesn't seem too interested in men. Audrey isn't interested in men romantically; in fact, she is probably a lesbian and is in love with Ruby. Muriel hasn't really had a boyfriend since she was young and that ended prematurely when her mother (a judge) sent him away to jail. Florence would like to have a boyfriend but she has always been big and ungainly. As they build their airplanes they also try to find love, not an easy task when men are in short supply.

I easily visualized these women from the descriptions Jeanette Lynes gave them. I could just see little Audrey wheeling that snack cart around the plant and Ruby typing away while trying to think of a big story that would get her noticed. Muriel, with her cane and her cigarettes sitting at her drafting table, was another clear picture. I think the one I really related to was Florence. I've been that overweight, ungainly girl looking for love in all the wrong places. I survived and so will Florence.

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