Cathi Bond is a Toronto-born writer who has written extensively about contemporary culture, and of 1970’s social problems.
Night Town is a fast-paced, highly captivating novels that compels the reader to turn page after page to discover what Maddy, the main character, does or experiences.
The novel starts in a small Ontario town. The family consists of a doctor, his wife, and three children, one of whom is Maddy. The family lives a quiet, “regulated” but “bland” life, until the mother dies of cancer after a short hospital stay.
She hid her illness from her family for two years.
The father becomes depressed, and cannot manage on his own, despite help from his in-laws, and marries again. The children are against the marriage, and Maddy decides to move to Toronto and live on her own. She drops out of school, and discovers that she is lesbian.
The author does an excellent job writing about 1970’s downtown Toronto that suffers from illicit drug dealers, prostitutes trying to make enough money to satisfy their drug cravings, drunks, thugs, assorted small-time criminals involved in bowdy houses.
The author very successfully captures and describes Maddy, a hurt, confused, unfortunate teenager, , her actions in an attempt to survive in a hostile, dangerous, intriguing cosmopolitan city infested with all kinds of low-life characters ready to exploit innocent, naive, and inexperienced teenagers and adults.
This is an insightful cautionary tale that contains redemptive thoughts for emotionally disturbed teenagers.
The reader is treated with a highly detailed and insightful character study of Maddy trying to find her way in a world that is changing rapidly
It also reveals how the “down and under” people try to eke out an existence in an uncertain and dangerous environment.
Highly recommended to adults and mature teens to learn and contemplate the repercussions of unfortunate circumstances and decisions.