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The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie…
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The Way the Crow Flies (edition 2003)

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

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1,751524,027 (4.08)61
Member:aimelire
Title:The Way the Crow Flies
Authors:Ann-Marie MacDonald
Info:Harper (2003), Paperback
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The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald

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English (49)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this novel so much that it makes me rethink others that I rated as a 4.5 or 5 out of 5. The story is familiar in so many ways. It's easy to appreciate how much mind and soul searching the author must have engaged in to bring out all of those long ago, seemingly insignificant feelings and internal dialogues that we all have in our pre-adolescent years. Its really unfairto try to make a few comments on the book and think that I have done it justice. There is alot to enjoy in hearing the thoughts of an 8 year old growing up in the 1960's. Its just a whole dose of reminiscence of the greatest part of my life, as well as many others.
Ms. MacDonald portrays a childs attempt to relate to and make sense of what she sees and hears all day long in such a way as to satisfy her own need for safety along with a sense of belonging, not only in her family but in her peer group and social structure. But even when this ideal is threatened, the author shows how we are able to take the violations of life in stride, encapsulate them, store them away and continue our journey. But she also reveals, clearly and in detail, how those issues that we 'handled' so smoothly in childhood remain alive, and eventually resurface and demand to be heard.
The story weaves together how our family, friends, and even authority figures play a role in the stability of our entire lives, not just the few years we spent as a child. How the leaders and protectors all seem to justify the small inconsistecies and red flags they notice in our life and the cost of not being what we considered at the time as over-protective, believing that monsters do NOT exist. The book shows how much we, as a society, have become aware that monsters really do exist and how the norms for social interraction have changed considerably in light of that truth.
If I would have read a synopsis of this book before I began to read, I would certainly have passed it by because I really do not like to dwell on the perversions that sometimes seem to surround all of us, but as it turns out, I am very happy to have read this book and will reread some of the parts again and again. Some parts are so profound, thought-provoking, and written with such grace that it is a pleasure to read those few paragraphs and pause to just ponder its meaning. ( )
  pife43 | Jul 23, 2014 |
A great window into our recent history. A complete novel with great characters, plot and mystery. ( )
  cmasson17 | Dec 5, 2013 |
Precisely 1.5x as long as it could have been. Lesbian U-Haul subplot appreciated but not entirely necessary :) ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
This book brought back many memories of growing up in the 1950's. Even though I was far away from an air base in Canada, the scary bomb drills, the music, the silly fun of little girls, and moms baking cookies were the same in the midwest as well.

I loved the characters and the plot(the resolution to the murder was a surprise for me). The "fast forward" to Madeline as an adult tied everything together so well. Great read -- just be prepared to devote many hours to reading and not getting anything else done because the book is long and one you won't want to put down. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 16, 2013 |
I picked this book up in the local thrift store, based purely on the cover. Wow. This is such a captivating, and sometimes uncomfortable and disturbing, novel. I really enjoyed it. Especially because you keep getting surprised by the truth behind what you think happened. ( )
  andrearules | May 13, 2013 |
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Epigraph
We are doomed to choose, and every choice
may entail an irreparable loss.
-- Isaiah Berlin
Dedication
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:30 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Twenty years after her early-1960s-military father is forced to choose between loyalties in the wake of a local murder, Madeleine begins to understand the case's implication and launches a search for the killer.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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