The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
My rating: ✰✰✰
Library Book, Trade paperback, Finished reading: 6/1/2012

This story takes place in Montana, told from the perspective and memories of the oldest Milliron boy, Paul. Their mother having died the year before, Oliver Milliron see an ad for a housekeeper and decides that is what they need. Rose Llewellyn arrives with her brother Morris Morgan in tow. There is a Big Ditch project- a gargantuan irrigation project that is drawing homesteaders from the east. The schoolmarm runs off and gets married, and Morris Morgan becomes the new teacher.

The only way I can think to describe this is as a fictional memoir. We learn of the Milliron household and the community of Marias Coulee. Morris’ rather offbeat way of teaching, Rose’s philosophy of housekeeping and negotiating skills. There is much going on in Marias Coulee. The narrative is straightforward, except it goes from the ‘now’ of Paul’s life, to the memories of his childhood and that year when Rose and Morrie showed up and changed their lives forever.

Ivan Doig does a good job taking us back in time to 1909, Paul narrative is clear and concise, while relating long stretches of conversation his prose is captivating. The story doesn’t drag, there is a surprise at the end, not really a twist and the characters stay true and all the questions are answered.

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About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

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