White Pine Spotlight








The Pain Eaters by Beth Goobie

  • This book needs to be read by everyone – male and female alike.
  • This book is about the knowledge – the deep and profound sadness – that all women carry with(in) them. Whether it be the result of an individual violation – like Maddy’s rape in this book – or a ‘group’ violation – like the Montreal Massacre – every woman carries the fear of this violence inside them.
  • That this is no different than 40 years ago, when I was Maddy’s age, is perhaps the greatest failure of our social contract.  The war on women is a civil emergency (Charlotte Bunch in After the Montreal Massacre) but no one is treating it as such.
  • And then there is the telling – having to relive the experience – to validate what happened to oneself, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The victim being victimised again… that there is no safe place for Maddy, or any woman.
  • The things to like about this book include: the literary quality (the imagery, concept, motifs, the intensity of the writing (and of Maddy’s experiences)); the authenticity of Maddy’s reactions to her rapists and the depth of her pain; relevance to the treatment of victims; relevance to the secrets everybody knows but doesn’t talk about (taking on a whole new significance in the wake of Harvey Weinstein et al)
  • The author also makes fabulous use of literary and cultural references, and draws on indigenous wisdom throughout.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.



  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy  in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.