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Review: The Watch that Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan

Review: The Watch That Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan McGill Queens University Press My Quick Take: This novel contained layers of theme and thought that truly satisfied, along with a story that evoked a vivid picture of 1930s Montreal. *** Am I ever glad we picked this book for our Canuck Reads March readalong. Not to spoil the end of 2024 surprise, but I think this book will be on my top books of the year. It was a Canadian bestseller for four months in 1959, and won the Governor General’s Award for literature. The title refers to a line in Psalm 90: “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” MacLennan was an English professor at McGill University, but his history is interesting to read, studded with fits and starts on his way realising his profession and writing career. He died in 1990; many of the novel’s details are likely inspired by his own life.

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