The whistling season [electronic resource]. Ivan Doig.
- ISBN: 9780156035637 (electronic bk)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
- Edition: 1.
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.
|Target Audience Note:||
Text Difficulty 5
UG/Upper grades (9th-12)
6.8 ATOS Level
Electronic reproduction. Boston : Mariner Books, 2007. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 646 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB).
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2005 December #2
/*Starred Review*/ Doig's latest foray through Montana history begins in the late 1950s, with Superintendent of Public Instruction Paul Milliron on the verge of announcing the closure of the state's one-room schools, seen as hopelessly out of date in the age of Sputnik. But quickly the narrative takes us back to Paul's pivotal seventh-grade year, 1910, when he was a student in one of those one-room schools, and two landmark events took place: the Milliron family acquired a housekeeper, and Halley's comet came to Montana. Throughout his long career, Doig has been at his best when chronicling the passing of a season in the lives of a Montana family, usually farmers at around the turn of the century. It's no surprise, then, that this is his best novel since the marvelous English Creek (1985). As in all of his books, he digs the details of his historical moments from the dirt in which they thrived. We see Paul, his father, and his two younger brothers struggling to make a life on their dryland farm in the wake of their mother's death, and we feel their shock when they lay eyes on their new housekeeper, a recent widow who looks nothing like the "great-bosomed creature shrouded in gray" they had come to expect. The saga of how this stranger from Minneapolis and her brother (soon to become the new teacher) change lives in unexpected ways has all the charm of old-school storytelling, from Dickens to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Doig's antique narrative voice, which sometimes jars, feels right at home here, coming from the mouth of the young Paul, who is eagerly learning Latin as he tries to make sense of his ever-enlarging world. An entrancing new chapter in the literature of the West. ((Reviewed December 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
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.
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