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And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne…

And the Birds Rained Down

by Jocelyne Saucier

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1341789,677 (4.14)16
  1. 00
    Le Soleil du Lac qui Se Couche by J.R. Leveillé (gypsysmom)
    gypsysmom: Also written originally in French and involves northern living, love and art

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English (11)  French (3)  German (3)  All (17)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
A photojournalist is tracking down people whom survived the terrifying fires in Northern Ontario at the turn of the century.. When talking to people she hears about this young man who seemed to be many places at once, helping people, saving a few and standing in the water with a bunch of flowers. They called him Boychuck and she wants to find him.

She finds him living in the woods with two other men, each living in their own cabin and living life on their own terms. They are each there for different reason and her visits and the unanticipated arrival of another older lady, another escapee from the life she was living, will change things for all. Two pot growers are the only connection they have to the outside world.

This quiet novel, the endearing characters and the beautiful descriptions of the natural setting, made this a wonderful novel.
There is more to the story, in such a small book, it covers quite a bit and all of it is written in a heartfelt manner. The story is quite poignant and the ending was unexpected, but seemed fitting. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jun 23, 2015 |
Een fotografe is op zoek naar overlevenden van de grote brand die de streek teisterde in het begin van de 20ste eeuw. ( )
  joucy | Jun 22, 2015 |
An entertaining read, that made me feel sort of melancholy and joyful at the same time. Really makes you reflect on life and death, but sort of wondering what the point of the book was at the end. ( )
  loogawa | Jun 3, 2015 |
Another book that I would not have read if not for Canada Reads. Even when I don't like the selections (as in When Everything Seems Like the Movies from this year) I have to admit that Canada Reads gets people reading Canadian books. This is one gem that I am glad got forced on my consciousness.

A photographer is searching for people that survived the Great Fires that raged through Northern Ontario in the early part of the 20th century. Almost everyone she has talked to has mentioned Ted (or Ed or Edward) Boychuk who survived the Great Matheson Fire of 1916 and wandered around, half-blind, for days after. She has finally tracked him down to a small gathering of old men only to find out that he had died recently. She talks to the two remaining men but only learns that Ted very seldom talked and never about the fire. Seems like she has hit a dead end but when she returns to the small community with pictures that she took of one of the dogs she finds that a woman has been ensconced. The woman, Marie-Desneiges, spent all of her adult years in mental health institutions and none of her family visited her. In fact, it was only on the death of her brother that her existence became known to other family members. Her nephew decided to spirit her away to this small community rather than return her to the institution. The nephew was familiar with the men living there because he had a marijauna plantation near their cabins. Although Marie-Desneiges spent all that time in institutions she seems fairly normal. However, she can see things that others can't and when she sees the paintings that Boychuk left behind she immediately understands the story they are telling. The photographer decides to mount an exhibition of Boychuk's paintings and her pictures of the survivors.

For such a slim book (only about 150 pages) there is a lot packed into it and I found I was reading slowly so as to enjoy the storylines. Enjoy the historical details while watching a love story develop. Once you are done you will have a lot to ponder about old age and modern healthcare and drug use and art and so much more. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 6, 2015 |
When I first read the back cover, all I could think about was WTH is an octogenarian? Once I learned that it was a person aged 80-89, my life was able to continue...

There were three themes/aspects of this book that I quite enjoyed: mystery, history and freedom of choice. Trying to figure out Boychuck's past life was like piecing together a puzzle without knowing what the finished product was supposed to look like. The photographer, who is snooping around Tom and Charlie's hidden community, reveals that she is photographing those who were impacted by a slew of wildfires that plagued Northern Ontario. She is specifically interested in finding Boychuck because he has become somewhat of a myth connected to the The Great Matheson fire in 1916. She is greeted with unfortunate news in her first interaction with Charlie.

The freedom to choose how to live and when to die, despite your age, is another theme that is very evident throughout the story. Tom, Charlie and eventually Marie-Desneige abandon their past lives to form their own community by the lake. Their secret is kept safe by a few of their trusted friends. The story also leaves room for a bit of love and romance, but you'll have to pick up the book and read about it for yourself. There are too many spoilers to be had if I were to elaborate. ( )
1 vote OrieMG | Apr 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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For Marie-Ange Saucier
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In which people go missing, a death pact adds spice to life, and the lure of the forest and of love makes life worth living.
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Tom and Charlie have decided to live out the remainder of their lives hidden away in a remote forest, their only connection to the outside world a couple of pot growers who deliver whatever they need that they can't eke out for themselves. But one summer two women arrive. One is a young photographer documenting a series of catastrophic forest fires that swept Northern Ontario, and the elderly aunt of the one of the pot growers appears, fleeing the psychiatric institution that has been her home since she was sixteen. She changes her name to Marie-Desneiges and joins the men in the woods.… (more)

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