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The Way the Crow Fliesby Ann-Marie MacDonald
Shortlisted for the 2003 Giller Prize
Ann-Marie MacDonald writes beautifully; her words wrap around you and envelop you. The Way the Crow Flies is engaging and evocative. She captures the pure joy and pain of childhood better than anyone since Margaret Atwood. That would be enough but then she adds in a murder and the Cold War. Please pick it up — you will not be disappointed.
Synopses & Reviews
In her highly anticipated new novel, Ann-Marie MacDonald takes us back to a postwar world. For Madeleine McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family's posting to a quiet air force base near the Canadian-American border is at first welcome, secure as she is in the love of her family and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The early sixties, a time of optimism infused with the excitement of the space race and overshadowed by the menace of the Cold War, is filtered through the rich imagination of a child as Madeleine draws us into her world.
But the base is host to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froehlich family, and the odd Mr. March, whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry. Then tragedy strikes, and a very local murder intersects with global forces, binding the participants for life. As the tension in the McCarthys' household builds, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality — a lesson that will become clear only when the quest for the truth, and the killer, is renewed twenty years later.
The Way the Crow Flies is a novel that is as compelling as it is rich. With her unerring eye for the whimsical, the absurd, and the quintessentially human, Ann-Marie MacDonald stunningly evokes the pain, confusion, and humor of childhood in a perilous adult world. At once a loving portrayal and indictment of an era, The Way the Crow Flies is a work of great heart and soaring intelligence.
"[A] powerful story, delicately layered with complex secrets, told with a masterful command of narrative and a strong moral message." Publishers Weekly
"[P]erhaps MacDonald's most impressive accomplishment is her uncanny ability... to vividly re-create the wonder, humor, and fears of childhood." Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist
"The prime contender for book of the fall. [T]his is an engaging and ingeniously plotted portrait of a 'perfect' 1960s Canadian family coming to terms with all its imperfections." Quill & Quire
"[A] richly involving novel. MacDonald... makes Jack and Mimi ring true emotionally, without chichi." The Bookseller
By incorporating the epic history of the Cold War and the space race into an otherwise tightly focused story, MacDonald brings a tumultuous time palpably to life.
About the Author
Ann-Marie MacDonald is a novelist and dramatist, and is also the author of the best-selling play Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet. Fall on Your Knees became a much-loved international bestseller when it was published in 1996; it has since been published in twenty-one countries. Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book as well as numerous other literary awards, it spent over 52 weeks on national bestseller lists, became a selection of Oprah?s Book Club, and has sold over 300,000 copies in Canada and over a million copies in the United States.
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