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Terrific, there is no other word; long (736 pages) but it doesn’t feel it. In fact the book falls into two halves and at the end of the first you wonder why the second is needed … and then you discover. Book one: a Canadian air force base in the 60s, early on you learn of the murder of a child and read furiously, slightly unnerved, willing it not to be … well I won’t say. The children are particularly well realised, the atmosphere of hope laced with terrible secrets beautifully handled and by the time you reach the second part, set twenty years later, you are completely hooked. It’s riveting stuff.
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 beautiful mother, and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The early 1960s – a time of optimism infused with the excitement of the space race but overshadowed with the menace of the Cold War – is filtered through a rich imagination as Madeleine draws us into her world.
But the base is host to some intriguing characters, including the unconventional Froelich 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 together for life. As the tension in the McCarthy's household builds, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality – a lesson she will only begin to understand when she carries her quest for the truth, and the killer, into adulthood twenty years later.
THE WAY THE CROW FLIES is a novel that is as compelling as it is rich. With her unerring eye for the whimsical, the absurd and the quintessentially human, Ann-Marie MacDonald stunningly evokes the pain, confusion, and humour of childhood in a perilous adult world. THE WAY THE CROW FLIES is a work of great heart and soaring intelligence.
‘The Way the Crow Flies is moving and compulsively readable ... Madeleine is a memorable and individual creation, feisty and believable, funny and sympathetic.’
‘A gripping, epic tale.’
‘The truth about the crime turns out to be farm more shocking than that which we ahve been led to believe ... The depiction of a child’s world is chillingly authentic.’
Publication date: 07/06/2004
Publisher: Harper Collins
|Publication date:||7th June 2004|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Ann-Marie MacDonald is a Toronto-based writer and actor. Her play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) won the Governor General's Award for Drama, the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Play and the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Drama. She won a Gemini Award for her role in the film Where the Spirit Lives and was nominated for a Genie for her role in I've Heard the Mermaids Singing. Fall On Your Knees was published in the New Face of Fiction program in 1996.More About Ann-Marie MacDonald