Shortlisted for the 2003 Giller Prize
Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Fall on Your Knees a bestseller in Canada and around the world a mesmerizing novel, breathtaking in its storytelling power.
In her hugely anticipated new novel, Ann-Marie MacDonald takes us back to a post-war world. For Madeleine McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family’s posting to a quiet air force base in Ontario 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 she will only begin to understand when she carries her quest for the truth, and the killer, into adulthood 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 humour 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
From the acclaimed author of Fall on Your Knees a New York Times bestseller and Oprah pick comes a mesmerizing look "at childhood, marriage, families, the 1960s, the Cold War, and the fear and isolation that are part of the human condition" (Patrick Anderson, Washington Post Book World).
The optimism of the early sixties, infused with the excitement of the space race and the menace of the Cold War, is filtered through the rich imagination of high-spirited, eight-year-old Madeleine, who welcomes her family's posting to a quiet Air Force base near the Canadian border. Secure in the love of her beautiful mother, she is unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in a web of secrets. When a very local murder intersects with global forces, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine will be forced to learn a lesson about the ambiguity ofhuman morality -- one she will only begin to understand when she carries herquest for the truth, and the killer, into adulthood twenty years later.
About the Author
Novelist and dramatist Ann-Marie MacDonald is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning novel Fall on Your Knees. She is also the playwright of Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, which won the Governor General's Award for Drama. She lives in Toronto.