Dollybird by Anne Lazurko Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman with dreams of working in medicine is forced out of her home and into the wild after she becomes pregnant out of wedlock in early 20th century Saskatchewan in author Anne Lazurko’s “Dollybird”. 


The Synopsis

Housekeeperor whore?

Twenty-year-old Moira, the daughter of a Newfoundland doctor, dreams of becoming a doctor herself; but when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is banished to the bleak landscape of southern Saskatchewan in 1906. There, she must come to terms with her predicament, her pioneer environment, and her employment as a “dollybird,” a term applied to women who might be housekeepers, whores—or both.

A saga of birth, death, and the violent potential of both men and the elements, Dollybird explores the small mercies that mean more than they should under a vast prairie sky that waits, not so quietly, for people to fail. helps independent authors bring their creative vision to the marketplace. Sell eBooks online in the biggest retail stores.

The Review

This was a visceral, captivating, and engaging historical fiction read. The author did a wonderful job of using imagery and atmosphere to their advantage, taking readers deep into the past to experience the hardships and struggles of life in the west. The grit and harsh conditions of the atmosphere during those times added to the wealth of struggles the protagonist faced, and really brought the era to life in the reader’s mind so perfectly.

Yet it was the powerful themes of double standards found between the expectations of men and women during those times, and how misogyny has plagued our world for so long, that really drew me into the narrative. The violence and cruelty of men and the unfair expectations placed upon women to fit a particular mold in society and live a certain way to be considered “civilized” was felt through every chapter of this book, and it was through protagonist Moira that the reader really felt the strength and resilience of her journey. The way she fought for what she believed in and made her own way in the world despite her “banishment” and yet found the means to learn the skills to survive in the wilds of the frontier made this a compelling read.

The Verdict

Visceral, captivating, and entertaining, author Anne Lazurko’s “Dollybird” is a must-read historical fiction novel. The twists and turns in the narrative will keep readers hanging onto the author’s every word, and the memorable themes will resonate with readers today in a very profound and heartfelt way. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Anne Lazurko is an award-winning novelist, a no-awards farmer and a sometimes poet. As the youngest of six daughters born to Dutch immigrants, she grew up with a nuanced view of people and their stories.

‘What Is Written on the Tongue’ (April/22 ECW Press) was shortlisted for the Glengarry Book Award. Her first novel ‘Dollybird’ won the Willa Award for Historical Fiction and Anne received a 2018 Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Literary Award.

A graduate of the Humber Creative Writing program, Anne is published in literary magazines and anthologies. An active editor, mentor and teacher in the prairie writing community, she writes from her farm on Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan. 


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