ETTA AND OTTO AND RUSSELL AND JAMES by Emma Hooper first takes us into the hard scrabble life of quiet Canadian farm as the faraway world sinks into global war. Later, an elderly couple – Otto one of fourteen siblings of a poor and hard working family and Etta his one-time school teacher take time apart, as she decides to walk across the continent to the ocean. (Etta is 82!) He understands, because of his time apart from home when he served in Europe as a soldier. Russell is their longtime friend, neighbor, and lover-from-afar of Etta. James is Etta’s walking companion. The story shifts back and forth in time. The facts shift in and out of reality. It is like a dream, but interspersed with the hard realities they face. Memory, war, friendship, love, honor, hope, loneliness…these are the underpinnings of an unusual and touching story.