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The Whistling Season

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The Whistling Season Cover

ISBN13: 9780156031646
ISBN10: 0156031647
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Can't cook but doesn't bite." So begins the newspaper ad offering the services of an A-1 housekeeper, sound morals, exceptional disposition that draws the hungry attention of widower Oliver Milliron in the fall of 1909. And so begins the unforgettable season that deposits the noncooking, nonbiting, ever-whistling Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee along with a stampede of homesteaders drawn by the promise of the Big Ditch — a gargantuan irrigation project intended to make the Montana prairie bloom. When the schoolmarm runs off with an itinerant preacher, Morris is pressed into service, setting the stage for the several kinds of education — none of them of the textbook variety — Morris and Rose will bring to Oliver, his three sons, and the rambunctious students in the region's one-room schoolhouse.

A paean to a vanished way of life and the eccentric individuals and idiosyncratic institutions that made it fertile, The Whistling Season is Ivan Doig at his evocative best.

Review:

"Any writer's work should be judged solely on its own merits, yet in this fine novel by Ivan Doig, one may be forgiven for marveling at the creation of such a work at an advanced stage of this writer's illustrious career. (Wallace Stegner — to whom, as with Doig, landscape was character and event in any story, and particularly Western landscapes — comes to mind with his classic Crossing to Safety.)Like many of Doig's earlier novels, The Whistling Season is set in the past in rural eastern Montana — and addresses that time and place in distinct, uncluttered prose that carries the full enthusiasm of affection and even love — for the landscape, the characters, and the events of the story — without being sentimental or elegiac. The novel is narrated by an aging Montana state superintendent of schools, Paul Milliron, who is charged with deciding the fate of the state's last scattered rural schools, and who, in the hours preceding his meeting to determine those schools' fate, recalls the autumn of 1909, when he was 13 and attending his own one-room school in Marias Coulee.Recently widowed, Paul's father, overwhelmed by the child-rearing duties presented by his three sons, in addition to his challenging farming duties, hires a housekeeper, sight unseen, from a newspaper ad. The housekeeper, Rose, proclaims that she 'can't cook but doesn't bite.' She turns out to be a beguiling character, and she brings with her a surprise guest — her brother, the scholarly Morris, who, though one of the most bookish characters in recent times, also carries brass knuckles and — not to give away too much plot — somehow knows how to use them.The schoolteacher in Marias Coulee runs away to get married, leaving Morris to step up and take over her job. The verve and inspiration that he, an utter novice to the West, to children and to teaching children, brings to the task is told brilliantly and passionately, and is the core of the book's narrative, with its themes of all the different ways of knowing and learning, at any age.Doig's strengths in this novel are character and language — the latter manifesting itself at a level of old-fashioned high-octane grandeur not seen previously in Doig's novels, and few others': the sheer joy of word choices, phrases, sentences, situations, and character bubbling up and out, as fecund and nurturing as the dryland farmscape the story inhabits is sere and arid. The Whistling Season is a book to pass on to your favorite readers: a story of lives of active choice, lived actively. (June)" Signature Review by Rick Bass. Rick Bass is the Pushcart and O. Henry award-winning author of more than 20 fiction and nonfiction books. His second novel, The Diezmo, will be published in June. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Doig blends a coming of age story and late-life reflection to luminous effect....[A]nother memorable tale set in the historical West but contemporary in its themes and universal in its insights into the human heart." Seattle Times

Review:

"This is an affectionate, heartwarming tale that also celebrates a vanished way of life and laments its passing." Library Journal

Review:

"Doig's story centers on the impact of these unconventional siblings on simple rural lives." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"An entrancing new chapter in the literature of the West." Booklist

Review:

[P]rovides us with a portrait of early 20th century Western life. The book isn't plot-driven, but instead offers an intimate look at a crucial year in a young boy's existence....The charm of The Whistling Season lies in the seemingly ho-hum plot. Doig's quiet, flowing prose keeps the subtle story in motion." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Both elegiac and life-affirming, The Whistling Season takes the chill out of today's literary winds." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The Whistling Season does what Doig does best: evoke the past and create a landscape and characters worth caring about....Doig's pace is leisurely, but the plot takes a surprising twist." USA Today

Synopsis:

A New York Times Editors Choice

A Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year

 

[quote side bar]

"Flawless."—O, the Oprah Magazine

"Courageous."—Washington Post Book World

"Evocative."—The New Yorker

"Life-affirming."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

 "Magical."—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Luminous."—Seattle Times

 

[body copy]

"[A] memorable tale set in the historical West but contemporary in its themes and universal in its insights into the human heart."—Seattle Times

 

"Cant cook but doesnt bite." So begins the ad that deposits the noncooking, nonbiting, ever-whistling housekeeper Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee, Montana in the fall of 1909. In the unforgettable season that follows, Morris and Rose bring "several kinds of education"—none of them of the textbook variety—to widower Oliver Milliron, his three sons, and the rambunctious students in the regions one-room schoolhouse. A paean to a vanished way of life and the eccentric individuals and institutions that made it fertile, The Whistling Season is Ivan Doig at his best.

 

"The Whistling Season takes the chill out of todays literary winds."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

 

"Lovely storytelling, whether youre in Montana or New York."—USA Today

 

Ivan Doig is the author of ten previous books, including the novels Prairie Nocturne and Dancing at the Rascal Fair. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, Doig holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.

Synopsis:

Bruce Machart tells an epic story of a Texas family at the turn of the twentieth century: a family of men led by a father, emotionally crippled following the death of his wife while in childbirth with their fourth boy, Karel. From an early age, Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors, culminating in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his fathers fortune, his brothers futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and salvage the tattered fabric of his family. 

With rich descriptive language and a cadence as deliberate and determined as the people and horses of the story, The Wake of Forgiveness compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.

About the Author

Ivan Doig is the author of ten previous books, including the novels Prairie Nocturne and Dancing at the Rascal Fair. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, Doig holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

Oofie, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Oofie)
An exquisitely crafted story weaving historical occurrences and issues from early 19th century West (eastern Montana) into a motherless family of boys and their father as they encounter a couple (housekeeper and eventual school teacher) who change their lives forever. Funny, heart wrenching, social commentary, coming of age, adventures, characters you will never forget, and an amazing use of vocabulary. Not to mention a book steeped in the vastness of the high plains and culture which shapes its inhabitants. LOVED this book!!!!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Michael Vail, January 27, 2012 (view all comments by Michael Vail)
very well written and entertaining
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Didi T, January 17, 2011 (view all comments by Didi T)
It had been quite a few years since I'd read a book by Ivan Doig. Most had been wonderful reads that captured me with their sense of place and authenticity of character (with a few notable exceptions such as Ride With Me Mariah Montana.) The Whistling Season reminded me that Doig is a outstanding writer who can write with sensitivity and skill. He still has a knack for the unexpected as well.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 9 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031646
Author:
Doig, Ivan
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Author:
Machart, Bruce
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Brothers and sisters
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


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Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

The Whistling Season Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156031646 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Any writer's work should be judged solely on its own merits, yet in this fine novel by Ivan Doig, one may be forgiven for marveling at the creation of such a work at an advanced stage of this writer's illustrious career. (Wallace Stegner — to whom, as with Doig, landscape was character and event in any story, and particularly Western landscapes — comes to mind with his classic Crossing to Safety.)Like many of Doig's earlier novels, The Whistling Season is set in the past in rural eastern Montana — and addresses that time and place in distinct, uncluttered prose that carries the full enthusiasm of affection and even love — for the landscape, the characters, and the events of the story — without being sentimental or elegiac. The novel is narrated by an aging Montana state superintendent of schools, Paul Milliron, who is charged with deciding the fate of the state's last scattered rural schools, and who, in the hours preceding his meeting to determine those schools' fate, recalls the autumn of 1909, when he was 13 and attending his own one-room school in Marias Coulee.Recently widowed, Paul's father, overwhelmed by the child-rearing duties presented by his three sons, in addition to his challenging farming duties, hires a housekeeper, sight unseen, from a newspaper ad. The housekeeper, Rose, proclaims that she 'can't cook but doesn't bite.' She turns out to be a beguiling character, and she brings with her a surprise guest — her brother, the scholarly Morris, who, though one of the most bookish characters in recent times, also carries brass knuckles and — not to give away too much plot — somehow knows how to use them.The schoolteacher in Marias Coulee runs away to get married, leaving Morris to step up and take over her job. The verve and inspiration that he, an utter novice to the West, to children and to teaching children, brings to the task is told brilliantly and passionately, and is the core of the book's narrative, with its themes of all the different ways of knowing and learning, at any age.Doig's strengths in this novel are character and language — the latter manifesting itself at a level of old-fashioned high-octane grandeur not seen previously in Doig's novels, and few others': the sheer joy of word choices, phrases, sentences, situations, and character bubbling up and out, as fecund and nurturing as the dryland farmscape the story inhabits is sere and arid. The Whistling Season is a book to pass on to your favorite readers: a story of lives of active choice, lived actively. (June)" Signature Review by Rick Bass. Rick Bass is the Pushcart and O. Henry award-winning author of more than 20 fiction and nonfiction books. His second novel, The Diezmo, will be published in June. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Doig blends a coming of age story and late-life reflection to luminous effect....[A]nother memorable tale set in the historical West but contemporary in its themes and universal in its insights into the human heart."
"Review" by , "This is an affectionate, heartwarming tale that also celebrates a vanished way of life and laments its passing."
"Review" by , "Doig's story centers on the impact of these unconventional siblings on simple rural lives."
"Review" by , "An entrancing new chapter in the literature of the West."
"Review" by , [P]rovides us with a portrait of early 20th century Western life. The book isn't plot-driven, but instead offers an intimate look at a crucial year in a young boy's existence....The charm of The Whistling Season lies in the seemingly ho-hum plot. Doig's quiet, flowing prose keeps the subtle story in motion."
"Review" by , "Both elegiac and life-affirming, The Whistling Season takes the chill out of today's literary winds."
"Review" by , "The Whistling Season does what Doig does best: evoke the past and create a landscape and characters worth caring about....Doig's pace is leisurely, but the plot takes a surprising twist."
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Editors Choice

A Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year

 

[quote side bar]

"Flawless."—O, the Oprah Magazine

"Courageous."—Washington Post Book World

"Evocative."—The New Yorker

"Life-affirming."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

 "Magical."—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Luminous."—Seattle Times

 

[body copy]

"[A] memorable tale set in the historical West but contemporary in its themes and universal in its insights into the human heart."—Seattle Times

 

"Cant cook but doesnt bite." So begins the ad that deposits the noncooking, nonbiting, ever-whistling housekeeper Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee, Montana in the fall of 1909. In the unforgettable season that follows, Morris and Rose bring "several kinds of education"—none of them of the textbook variety—to widower Oliver Milliron, his three sons, and the rambunctious students in the regions one-room schoolhouse. A paean to a vanished way of life and the eccentric individuals and institutions that made it fertile, The Whistling Season is Ivan Doig at his best.

 

"The Whistling Season takes the chill out of todays literary winds."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

 

"Lovely storytelling, whether youre in Montana or New York."—USA Today

 

Ivan Doig is the author of ten previous books, including the novels Prairie Nocturne and Dancing at the Rascal Fair. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, Doig holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.

"Synopsis" by ,
Bruce Machart tells an epic story of a Texas family at the turn of the twentieth century: a family of men led by a father, emotionally crippled following the death of his wife while in childbirth with their fourth boy, Karel. From an early age, Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors, culminating in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his fathers fortune, his brothers futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and salvage the tattered fabric of his family. 

With rich descriptive language and a cadence as deliberate and determined as the people and horses of the story, The Wake of Forgiveness compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.

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