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Kathleen’s Cariole Ride: A Call of Love in the Wilderness

  • Genre Historical nonfiction romance
  • Theme A call of love in the wilderness
  • Description An incongruous encounter of knightly and ladylike norms and ideals with northern Canada‘s vastness and aboriginal culture
  • Setting  Bleakness everywhere. The whole world was bleak in the aftermath of  the senseless killing and hateful destruction of World War I.
  • Heroine Sensitive, genteel Kathleen Elizabeth Ward of Portsmouth, England‘s promise and promises had been shattered cruelly. At age 25, her immediate crisis was to avoid spinsterhood and raise a family in spite of the devastating  reality that almost all the eligible men were dead.
  • Hero John Ambrose Campbell Kell (called JACK) was left the money for a college  education instead of staying on the farm in Cookstown, Ontario, Canada like his father and older brothers. Hopes for fulfilling his dream of finding a wife were bleak; city coeds didn’t take to his theology degree and plans to go north.
  • Community At first glance,’ bleak’ would aptly describe the Indian reservation at Oxford House in northern Manitoba. The people were poor and had little contact with the outside world except through missionaries and selling furs to the Hudson Bay Company.

Plot A tumultuous transatlantic courtship begins in fits and starts. The setting changes to optimistic views of a young country and a renewed church as the twenties roar on. A cariole, the ancient Alaskan ancestor of the toboggan (nubougidan), and a small, smart horse called Tommy help achieve impossible dreams. (The horse in the picture above is Big Lad.)

Conclusion After over 90 years of life each, 61 of them married, Kathleen and Jack died and went to heaven, leaving scraps of their story behind in case somebody else could use them.

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