I was swept up from the first page, as eager as the boys in the story to meet their new housekeeper that "doesn't bite"....and I fell in love with Rose and her brother just as quickly as the family does in a story that will surprise you with the twists it takes. A new look at the definitions of family and loyalty set quite believably at the dawn of the century in rural Montana.
A coming of age novel on the Montana plains at the beginning of the 20th century and the role of the one room school house in the community. His characters, dialog, language and plot are enchanting. I can't wait to read more of his books.
Wonderfully evocative ode to the one-room schoolhouses of early twentieth-century Montana. I fell in love with the Milliron family, dry-land farmers trying to make it after the death of their mother and the always whistling Rose Llewellyn who rescues them from the squalor of their all-male farmhouse and her brother Morris, who rescues their minds from the limitations of their country school.
Paul Milliron is a seemingly insignificant child. Living with his father and 2 younger brothers on the plains of Montana in 1909, the motherless family knows hardship and good times in equal measure.
When Pauls father takes it upon himself to hire a housekeep from Minneapolis, Paul and his younger brothers are in for the treat of their life when Rose Llewellyn and her brother Morrie Morgan show up on their front steps.
Gradually the relationship between Mr. Milliron and Rose grows to be something more and the boys begin to see her and Morrie as irreplaceable parts of their lives. Morrie and Rose are harboring a secret however, one that could either break, or make the family.
I had mixed reactions to The Whistling Season. Overall I liked it. The writing is superb and descriptive and the characters are people I can relate to and want to know more about. On the flip side, there really was no solid plotline. Yes, there was a growing relationship between the characters and minor happenings that will happen in 1909 Montana, but besides that it was like an ongoing episode of The Waltons.
Thats really all I have to say about it. It was good, I liked it. Would I read a sequel? meh. Maybe, if I couldnt find anything more interesting to pick up.
I give The Whistling Season 4 stars for the quality of writing and the characters, 3 for the overall plotline. Overall it was unremarkable through a haze of slightly peaked interest.
A wonderfully written book filled with humor and believable characters. A plot that doesn't rely on sex and/or violence - what a refreshing change! This is a book I would have read outloud to my children had I known about it earlier, but don't let that recommendation keep you from reading it - a great and fun read for all ages.
When I was finished with this book, I went and revised my top 10 to add it - it's that good. Told from a boy's perspective, it's the story of a somewhat shady brother and sister who come to live in a small town in rural Montana in 1909. The effect these two have on the boy, his widowed father, and the rest of the town is best summed up by the synopsis on the publisher's website - this glimpse into a vanished way of life and eccentric characters is an unforgettable, charming tale of love and loss, truth and lies, and educationconventional and otherwise.
I wasn't familiar with Ivan Doig until this book, but look forward to reading more of his stuff. My husband, an ardent scifi reader, was equally charmed by this book, which is really saying something.
Extremely well written; funny and entertaining. "The West's preeminent literary novelist...Doig's characters, new and old, are unforgettable...they are becoming a part of the American mindscape." Doig pulls you into this book with writing magic.
This is not a novel for the impatient reader. It is a quiet, well-written, snapshot of life in Montana in 1909. It is about brothers and their father, all still in the shadow of their mother's death. It is about a whistling visitor. And it is about quality education. My guess is that the author was not seeking to entertain, but rather to create.
If I were to always read page-turners, my family would never see me3 ½ starsEnjoy!
This is the story of a widower raising his 3 sons, struggling mightily to cook and feed them in rural Montana in the early 1900s. In breezes their new housekeeper, Rose, who can't cook but doesn't bite. The one-room schoolhouse and life therein plays a big part of this story. A very good read.
A washington Post Book World "Best Book of the Year 2006". A New York Times "editor's choice."
I selected it based on awards and was not disappointed. A rich story of family and community life in the early 1900's in Montana. A family of four applies for a housekeeper after the death of the mother. The person who arrives with her brother, changes their lives forever. The story is told in the first person by one of the sons. Much of the story revolves around a one-room school house, but there are sub-plots and a surprise ending. Cpeyton
A good book, but you need to be patient. It's not fast paced. It doesn't grab you right away. The story unfolds quietly, subtly and without much fanfare. Your reward for your patience is a lovely story about the power of secrets, loyalty, and life in the rural west. The author, Doig, has a way with words. He paints a vivid picture of rural Montana. I haven't been to this part of the West, but his descriptions of the land and people made me feel as though I were there. I could imagine myself in Big Sky Country with nothing to look at but miles and miles of sky and land.
This was a pretty good book. Written as a slice of life about a widower and his three sons. It is written from the view point of the eldest so in early 19th century. Father sees an advertisement in the paper for a housekeeper position which his family desperately needs.
When Rose arrives she brings her brother along. She cannot cook but is a very good housekeeper. Her brother is very bright and becomes the school teacher at the one room school Just when I had given up that the story was going one way, the whole story changed and became even more interesting.
I recommend the book to anyone who likes a good secret that is kept for a lifetime and the dynamics of family life.