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A Student of Weather

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A Student of Weather Cover

ISBN13: 9781582431819
ISBN10: 1582431817
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

During the worst of the prairie dust bowl of the 1930's, a young man appears out of a blizzard, and two sisters' lives are changed forever. In this gorgeous novel, Elizabeth Hay lays bare the lasting imprint on the human heart of physical landscape, family rivalries, and first love.

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OneMansView, July 11, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Life can be stormy

This well-crafted, compelling story is about contrasts, differences, changes, etc involving sisters, locations, terrain, and weather. The story must essentially resolve the fallout from the arrival of 23-year old Maurice Dove, a nature researcher, on the forbidding, desolate plains of Saskatchewan in the mid 1930s and his emotional impact on two sisters: the beautiful, though hesitant 17-year-old Lucinda Hardy, a girl obsessed with domestic perfectionism, and 8-year-old Norma Joyce Hardy, an audacious, resilient, and devious girl, who more than makes up for her somewhat homely appearance with a perceptiveness beyond her years.

Maurice, with his good looks and sensitive personality, is not forgotten by either girl when he leaves for Ottawa, never to return. But the situation unexpectedly resumes nearly ten years later when the Hardy family comes into an inheritance that places them near the Dove household in Ottawa, but the balance has shifted. Now not too young, the insistent, intriguing, and sensual Norma Joyce captures the decided attention of Maurice, but their relationship proves to be troubled and iffy as it is played out over the ensuing years in both Ottawa and NYC with several significant developments.

Most important to the book is the author's understandings concerning the dynamics of the emotions of this situation, including hopes and expectations and feelings of rejection and even betrayal. Reflecting Maurice's studies and Norma Joyce's interests, the author seamlessly interleaves insights about plants and weather that are invariably metaphors for adaptability, suitability, and ebb and flow as related to these characters and life in general.

There could be some dismay regarding the author's treatment of the resourceful Norma Joyce. It is at least possible that a girl with her aggressiveness, imaginativeness, and talent would have had more control over the course of events in her life. On the other hand, life, like the weather, happens; sometimes survival or acceptance is about the best one can do. Norma Joyce is an undeniably compelling character, who keeps the reader interested in her quest to find equanimity in her life. It is a pretty amazing debut novel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582431819
Author:
Hay, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Counterpoint
Subject:
General
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20011214
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 15.6 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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