This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie…

The Way the Crow Flies

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,983585,057 (4.07)69

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 69 mentions

English (54)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
It was a very good detailed story but it just made it so long. I did enjoy the base of the story. ( )
  Samqua | Aug 17, 2018 |
Long, slow paced novel set in a Canadian Air Force base in the early 60s, from the viewpoints of a 9 year old girl and her father. The Cuban missile crisis looms, and bad things happen. Worse things: a murder.

A complicated, well crafted story in which people make decisions that lead to lies, but they’re harmless lies, until they’re not, and telling the truth is more complicated than continuing the lie. It’s about trust, too. Who should you trust? Your parents? Your teacher? Your commanding officer? Your old friend? Your new friend?

Then it shifts to the present, where the girl, now grown, is remembering things and seeing how they don't add up... and she starts trying to figure them out.

I didn't anticipate the way the murder was resolved, and had a little bit of doubt about it, but really, everything felt right and made emotional sense.

It's loosely based on a real murder case, which I hadn't been aware of till I read the reader's extra section. Sad. ( )
  piemouth | Jan 2, 2018 |
4.25 stars

It is the early 1960s. Jack, Mimi and their two kids, Madeleine and Mike, are moving home to Canada from Germany. Jack is part of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and is moving to Centralia, Ontario to train new pilots. They are a happy, normal family, and are able to fit into their new community fairly quickly. After they are there for some time and have all made some good friends, something happens in the community that shatters their lives, as well as the lives of all the families around them. Jack and Madeleine, in particular, have secrets they are keeping, but it’s becoming more and more difficult.

I thought it was very realistic, right from the first few pages with Mike and Madeleine fighting in the backseat of the car. Most of the story was told from either Madeleine’s or Jack’s point of view, but there were parts that were from other character’s points of view, as well. I have to admit that I found my mind drifting through parts involving politics and the military (some of Jack’s part of the story). But overall, a very, very good book. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 20, 2017 |
"When stories are not told, we risk losing our way. Lies trip us up, lacunae gape like blanks in a footbridge. Time shatters and, though we strain to follow the pieces like pebbles through the forest, we are led farther and farther astray. Stories are replaced by evidence. Moments disconnected from eras. Exhibits plucked from experience.
We forget the consolation of the common thread-the way events are stained with the dye of the stories older than the facts themselves.
We lose our memory.
This can make a person ill.
This can make a world ill."

When I first picked up this book, I read the description and the tags and labels that people had pinned on it. When I first looked at this book, I did not think I'd ever read this.

What persuaded me to read it was that MacDonald's first book was written so well that I wanted to see how she would tell the story of The Way the Crow Flies.

But how can you tell this story of the murder of a child - even if the story is partly based of the real life case of Steven Truscott? How can you tell of the lies and secrets that unravel the lives of everyone involved? Of the naivety of the individuals that condemn evil and, yet, at the same fail to see that it is their own simple-mindedness that fuels the travesty of justice that ensues?

MacDonald tells it masterfully. She uses imagery and language that packs a punch. Never overly evocative or manipulative, she shows each story from the characters point of view - and this at times makes you want to stop reading and jump in and shake the person. At other times, this makes you draw the book in closer and cling to every page to find out what happens next.

The Way the Crow Flies is, however, not only the story of a community torn apart by the murder. The book goes deeper. Whilst the books' main character, Madeleine, tries to deal with the events in her own life - events which she feels she cannot speak of, which she feels she needs to protect her family from -, her father, Jack, becomes entangled in a cold war scientific espionage plot in aid of the West's race to the moon.
A boys' own adventure, which in turn will make him question everything he believes in. But to what end? And while he is keen to teach his daughter that the truth must be told, is he mature enough to take responsibility for the consequences?

On another level, MacDonald draws out the individual dilemmas against a historical context - not just the backdrop of the Cold War, but also that of the Second World War - paralleling the space race to the development of the V2 and the atomic bomb. All are inextricably linked through the people that were involved. However, this link creates an issue - How can the same people be working for opposing ideologies?

"But he has enough - his children have enough - to cope with, never mind taking on the past. To report this man would not only be futile; it would be to exhume what is cold and can never heal. To haunt his new family with the inconsolable griefs of his old one."

The book does not try to answer this question but offers serious food for thought. Because the stories, or rather the secrets of both, father and daughter, are bound to test their ideals, their perception of each other and of the world.

"This precious mess. Democracy. How much can be done in its name before, like an egg consumed by a snake, it becomes a mere shell?"

Without knowing of each other's secrets, both main characters are wounded in the process. Are they able to heal?

The Way the Crow Flies has seriously impressed me. MacDonald has not only written a mystery, a political thriller, and a court room drama all in one, she also created a deep and complex psychological tour de force that questions whether the reality we perceive always ties up with the facts and how this reality changes as we mature. Individuals are defined by their story unless they take action to confront it.

Nina says: "Fear isn't the opposite of courage."
"It's the prerequisite to courage."

Review originally posted on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/1082831/the-way-the-crow-flies ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
writing is so good that it propels you through the story, page after exhausting page
  frahealee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
We are doomed to choose, and every choice
may entail an irreparable loss.
-- Isaiah Berlin
For Mac and Lillian
So many "remember whens"
First words
The birds saw the murder.
The sun came out after the war and our world went Technicolor.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
For Madeine McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family's posting to a quiet air force base near the Canadian-American border is at first welcome, secure as she is in the love of her beautiful mother, and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The base is host to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froelich family, and the odd Mr. March whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060586370, Paperback)

The Way the Crow Flies, Ann-Marie MacDonald's follow-up novel to her bestselling debut (and Oprah Book Club pick), Fall on Your Knees, opens in 1962 when the McCarthy family moves from Germany to their new home on a Canadian air force base near London, Ontario. Madeleine, eight and already a blossoming comic, is particularly close with her father, Jack, an air force officer. Her loving Acadian mother, Mimi, and older brother Mike round out this family, whose simple goodness reflects the glow of an era that seemed like paradise. But all that is about to change. The Cuban Missile Crisis is looming, and Jack, loyal and gullible, suddenly has an important task to carry out that involves a scientist--a former Nazi--in Canada.

While Jack scrambles to keep his activities hidden from his wife, Madeleine too is learning to keep secrets (about a teacher at school). The Way the Crow Flies is all about the fertility of lies, how one breeds another and another. Although the writing flows with a strong current, the profusion of pop references, especially ad slogans, grows tiresome. The author can, however, capture a lovely image in few words: "The afternoon intensifies. August is the true light of summer" and "yes, the earth is a woman, and her favorite food is corn." At times the story is marvelously compelling, as the mystery of a horrific murder in the fields near the base is unravelled. When events lead to a trial and its outcome, the story peaks, in a conclusion with no easy answers. The last third of the book takes place, for the most part, 20 years later. Here the novel meanders somewhat, losing its ability to captivate with the same intensity. The reader longs to return to the earlier world, which MacDonald has captured in vital detail. --Mark Frutkin, Amazon.ca

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:19 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

For Madeleine McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family's posting to a quiet air force base near the Canadian-American border is at first welcome, secure as she is in the love of her family and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The early sixties, a time of optimism infused with the excitement of the space race and overshadowed by the menace of the Cold War, is filtered through the rich imagination of a child as Madeleine draws us into her world. But the base is host to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froehlich family, and the odd Mr. March, whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry. Then tragedy strikes, and a very local murder intersects with global forces, binding the participants for life. As the tension in the McCarthys' household builds, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality -- a lesson that will become clear only when the quest for the truth, and the killer, is renewed twenty years later.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.07)
0.5 1
1 5
1.5 2
2 19
2.5 9
3 68
3.5 37
4 169
4.5 38
5 177

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,124,209 books! | Top bar: Always visible