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The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest…
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The Mountain and the Valley (1952)

by Ernest Buckler

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1526111,135 (3.64)3
  1. 00
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (mArC0)
    mArC0: These are both stories where the young artist is trying to break free of a culture that they find beautiful and oppressive: The mountain and the valley.
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I struggled to get into this book. Its lengthy descriptions of the landscape interrupted the flow of the story making it difficult to stay emotionally engaged with the characters. I may give it another try when I'm in the mood for poetic-style prose but for now, I think I'm going to have to put it aside.
  Gayle_C._Bull | Jul 7, 2017 |
(Literary Fiction, Vintage, Canadian author, Atlantic Canadian)

Published in 1952, this is an Atlantic Canadian classic and is set in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, in the years leading up to WWII.

It’s the story of three generations of the Canaan family, particularly David Canaan of the last generation, and illustrates the eternal struggle between generations and the subsequent breakdown of families.
For example, while David and his father are working together outside, David’s father thinks: “Someone of my own name will always live in my house,” while David is thinking of how he can’t wait to leave.

But David must sacrifice his dreams of being a writer to stay and work the family farm.

Read this if: you enjoy the novels of John Steinbeck. 4½ stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jul 29, 2014 |
First of all the writing is fantastic, the images the words the author uses really envelopes the reader in the time and place of the novel. The use of simile and metaphor would seem to get tiring after awhile but not in this case. But where the novel falls short is the over all story, it could of been more telling, relevant. ( )
  charlie68 | Jul 10, 2014 |
Spoiler alert.

There is a certain unevenness in the story-telling in this book, particularly in the earlier sections, but it does pull together and tell a cohesive and often beautifully written tale. The long poetic descriptive passages, really a sort of meditation on the physical and sensual experience of the people in their setting, can be moving or can interrupt the flow of the narrative a tad too long. Still at their strongest they are some of the best aspects of the book.

I love immersing myself in the work and world of this land and time, and there are some compelling insights into humans. Overall it is a dreary tale, though. Just about everybody dies young, the protagonist never comes to grips with his own self-defeating tendencies, and few if any of the inter-personal rifts are resolved before his own untimely death.

It was a bit of work to read in some ways, and I don't regret it, but it isn't one I will go back to. I will cherish some of the images, but as a story, it left me a bit down and unsatisfied. ( )
1 vote thesmellofbooks | Jun 27, 2013 |
Set in the years leading up to World War II and against the backdrop of the Annapolis Valley’s natural beauty, The Mountain and the Valley captures a young man’s spiritual awakening and the gradual growth of artistic vision.
David Canaan is a sensitive boy who becomes increasingly aware of the difference that sets him apart from his family and his neighbours. David’s desire to write is the secret that gives this haunting story its detailed focus and its poignant theme; for David must sacrifice his dreams to run the family farm. The prose reads like poetry, the images are breathtaking. Partway through the book, art begins to appear at odds with the ruggedness of the rural landscape. This conflict begins to transform the beautiful book into something truly haunting. ( )
2 vote | siubhank | Oct 5, 2007 |
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To my family, who did not model for this book, but whose faith sustained it.
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David Canaan had lived in Entremont all his thirty years.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771099525, Mass Market Paperback)

The Mountain and the Valley is an affectionate portrait of David Canaan, a sensitive boy who becomes increasingly aware of the difference that sets him apart from his family and his neighbours. David’s desire to write is the secret that gives this haunting story its detailed focus and its poignant theme.

Set in the years leading up to World War II and against the backdrop of the Annapolis Valley’s natural beauty, The Mountain and the Valley captures a young man’s spiritual awakening and the gradual growth of artistic vision.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

David Canaan longs to be a writer but must sacrifice his dreams to run the family farm.

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