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Where White Horses Gallop: A Novel by…
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Where White Horses Gallop: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Beatrice MacNeil

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495238,224 (3.55)57
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:Where White Horses Gallop: A Novel
Authors:Beatrice MacNeil
Info:Key Porter Books (2009), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Canada, Nova Scotia, WW2

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Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice MacNeil (2007)

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Showing 5 of 5
I loved it!

vancouverdeb (in the next review) has said it so well...let me just second her review and recommend this beatifully written book. ( )
  LynnB | Aug 1, 2013 |
Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice MacNeil is a book I highly recommend. Beatrice MacNeil is a Nova Scotian writer, and this book gives unique and very touching look into WW11.

It's beautifully written and takes place mainly in a small town in Cape Breton just before and during and after WW11. Three young men, all friends, join up to go abroad fight WW11. What makes this book so special is that it focusses on the family dynamics and struggles of the parents of the young men as they chose to go abroad and how each family responds to their son's going to war, returning from WW11 - if they do. I found it to be very realistic . There are some stories from the war front, but mainly the book focuses on the parents of the young men, and the young men themselves. PTSD and other effects of war are dealt with in this book. It's a very different look at war and I think a realistic one. There are no heroes - just people struggling to cope. It's very different from many other books that take a look at Canada's role in WW11 in that it does not focus on the war front, nor the girlfriends or wives left behind -but rather the young men and their familes.

I found it truly heart breaking and touching and came away feeling much sorrow. It's a beautiful book and one I highly reccomend.

5 stars. ( )
1 vote vancouverdeb | Jul 25, 2011 |
Beautifully written, Where White Horses Gallop is set in Cape Breton, NS. Three young men, all friends, enlist in Canada's military and set sail for Europe in 1941. MacNeil tells their story, and the story of their families. As Alistair MacLeod notes, "Beatrice MacNeil has a brilliant insight into the souls of the wounded."

I was taken with MacNeil's prose from the first page of the prologue. "In spring, when the dandelions were young and saucy, the children had plucked them by the handfuls. Fed them to the brook just to watch them drown. Adults had snapped off their golden round heads and green leaves and spoken openly of the liquid pleasures brewing in their barns. Farmers had sliced away the weeds with a vengeance, leaving their slaughtered bodies to the wind for burial." (7)

A must read! ( )
2 vote lit_chick | Mar 4, 2011 |
this book is from the public library too if you are also wondering where is it from too. ( )
  7B._.Carmen | Nov 18, 2008 |
very good....touching, poignant, a different view of WWII ( )
  sub | Jun 25, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5

In Where White Horses Gallop, MacNeil centers her story around four adolescent boys – Alex the poet, Benny the fiddle player, Calum who wants to be a doctor, and
Hector who always has a joke ready. These characters live in the 1930s-40’s and three of them go off to war...
Throughout Where White Horses Gallop, MacNeil writes in a poetic, tightly woven narrative that makes you care about the characters. Her book bristles with Cape Breton pride.

 
The tradition of storytelling in Canada finds its deepest roots along the country’s East Coast. And it is here, upon the rugged coastline of Cape Breton, that Beatrice MacNeil sets the stage for her latest novel, Where White Horses Gallop, a stirring account of human frailty and courage....The storyline is lean and layered with nostalgia; the writing is fluid and flows with seemingly effortless humility. Characters reveal themselves slowly, coming into focus like buoys bobbing in the Atlantic fog. Though occasionally MacNeil resorts to a kind of clichéd stoicism ...

 
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To Michael B. MacDonald, DCM, Cape Breton Highlanders "hidden amongst the heroes."
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All over Beinn Barra the dandelions are dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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from Amazon ca :In the white-shingled houses of Beinn Barra, young men shine their shoes and young girls curl their hair. It?s Saturday night, there?s a dance in the parish hall, and Benny Doucet is playing. They come from all over Cape Breton to hear ?Strings? Doucet play the fiddle.

But it is 1939. England has declared war on Germany. Canada will march beside the mother country. Three friends enlist in the legendary Cape Breton Highlanders: fisherman Hector MacDonald, gifted musician Benny Doucet, and Calum MacPherson, who has been accepted at Dalhousie to study medicine. The three friends sail off to war in November 1941.

The families wait for word of their boys. Gunner MacDonald, a returned man himself, knows only too well what his fisherman son will witness in the trenches of Europe. Joachim and Ona MacPherson seek, and fail to find, solace in each other. Napoleon and Flora Doucet finger their rosary beads at the kitchen table and pray for Benny?s safety.

Where White Horses Gallop is a haunting tale of a war where emotional shrapnel riddles the spirit long after the guns a continent away have grown silent.
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It is 1939. England has declared war on Germany. Canada will march beside her. And the lives of five young friends living in the ruggedly beautiful northern highlands of Cape Breton will be changed forever. Three of them enlist with the Cape Breton Highlanders and sail off to war in November 1941: musician Benny Doucet; would-be doctor Calum MacPherson; and fisherman Hector MacDonald. But Calum's brother Hamish, handicapped and unable to serve, remains at home in Beinn Barra. And Alex MacGreggor, fisherman and poet, refuses to enlist. Alex is in love with the postmistress with the thick ankles, and when the conscription men come for him he hides in a false wall in his mother's attic. "Where White Horses Gallop" is a haunting, beautifully written tale of friendship and the trauma of war where emotional bullets riddle the spirit long after the guns in the Arielli Valley and the Delfzijl trenches have grown silent.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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