Each section of the diary is preceded by an introduction by Bird that summarizes and explains what life was like for Mary during that time period. Mary’s diary entries have been kept intact to preserve her voice, but Bird steps in frequently to give context or supply some missing information.
Through this combination, the reader can see how life evolved in a small rural village. We see how her family copes during the Depression and the war years. We see how community rallied around each other in times of need and how they socialized. Much of their socialization revolved around the church and church fundraisers, but they would often visit more than one church, sometimes on the same day. The role the railway played in the community is highlighted because the Morehouse home was right beside the railway stop so passengers often visited while they were waiting for their train. We can see how Mary?s housework burden is eased as technological inventions like the wringer-washer are introduced.
Mary played an important role in the community as she helped out her neighbours with births, deaths, and illnesses. Towards the end of the diary, we see the community rallying around her as she copes with the looming death of her husband. The diary entries from 1920-1945 are the most complete and they span a time period that many readers find fascinating. However, there aren’t as many New Brunswick and Atlantic Canadian books on this time period, so Through the Eyes of Mary should find a market with readers who are looking for Atlantic Canadian sources on this subject.