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I Married the Principal - A Memoir of Excuses (2012)
Now that Mavis has raised her children and retired from a high-ranking career in the field of education, she has written her memoirs, in novel form, focussing on her first year of marriage. In part, Mavis was hoping to understand why she would have allowed her life to take such a sudden u-turn, and in part she hopes readers will come to understand how social history influences and shapes lives. While this book is sure to stir memories and inspire thought, it will surely entertain.
I was shocked and surprised to read of this time in my sister's life. Our family was convinced she had married the greatest guy ever. We now know that wasn't entirely true. Thank you, Mavis, for having the courage to write this book.
What a story teller you are! As I read your wonderful book, I could imagine myself at your family’s farm, the horrible winters, the high school dances, the sports days, and you trying to get the fire started in your teacherage. I marvelled at your having to use the girl’s washroom at the school as your bathroom! It was disturbing to be reminded of the power of the “expectations” – of the farm girl to want to be a city girl, or the teacher to behave a certain way, or the wife to function according to some rules. Thanks for remembering this and writing it down and sharing it and inspiring all of us to think.
“I Married the Principal” resonates with author Mavis Lowry’s enthusiasm and sincerity. Lowry takes readers on a romp through rural Alberta, Canada in the 50’s and 60’s, while candidly divulging her marital and school-marmish secrets. “I Married the Principal” is a refreshing read from a real original!
Barbara M. Dickinson,
Cracking open “I Married the Principal” when I got home, I read 'til the end, and wanted to compliment you on your vivid presentation of those early days. Coming from a similar rural, ranch, impoverished
Elsie McMurphy, Former president, British Columbia Teachers' Federation.
I finished your book a couple of nights ago. I have to tell you it had my emotions in an upheaval. They went from surprise, to shock, frustration, anger, sadness, laughter, and a whole lot of nostalgia. It took me back to those long ago days when we were just a bunch of innocent teenagers, when life at home was simple and fun. My how things changed for you. As your dad would likely say, "Jesus Christ girl what were you thinking, promising marriage to some God-damned guy you hardly knew”.
Mickey (Campbell) Jacobson, Original Desperate Housewife and old school pal of the author
I'm super impressed with this book--the writing, the editing, the flow and the mood. It is very funny, tender, and captures the flavor of "bildungsroman" (a coming-of-age story literary genre).
C. McConchie, Librarian, North Vancouver Public Library.
When eighteen-year-old Mavis Lowry went to Darwell, Alberta in 1961 to be an elementary school teacher, she had no idea how much her life would change. Ten days after she arrived, the principal, Joe Rudarski proposed to her, even though they hardly knew each other. She was both intimidated by him and flattered by his attention. He was a handsome 28-year-old who had a good job. He drove a nice car and even owned a house in Edmonton. He was considered a “catch” by the local women. Mavis said, “Yes,” although she began to have misgivings almost right away. Joe turned out to be a member of a strict Pentecostal church. His family disapproved of women who wore make-up and they were shocked by the music that Mavis loved—The Everly Brothers and Elvis. But she couldn’t seem to see a way of getting out of her agreement. She married the man she continued to call “Mr. Rudarski”—even after the wedding. This is an astonishing book and will let you see a side of the early sixties in Alberta that you may not have known existed.
Claudia Cornwall, author of At the World’s Edge: Curt Lang’s Vancouver 1937-1998
I enjoyed your book so much I could not put it down. I laughed,I cried and at times just shook my head. As I was totally engrossed in my reading I realized that I had laundry waiting to be done and that it was time to start supper, but it didn't really matter because no one would complain. My husband would wait for his meal or start preparing it. How times have changed? I just want to thank you for sharing your life in print.
Cheryl Lowenberg, reader from Calmar, Alberta