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william wren

thanks for this reviw, a subject i have great interest in

Lisa

Your review makes me think of Olive Kitteridge, which I read as part of the Early Reviewers program through LibraryThing. Olive was just this type -- hard and frustrating, but she still won you over in the end. The book is actually a series of short stories in which she plays some role. I think it was one of the last stories in the book that really touched me. Olive realizes later in her life that she's never really connected with her only son. It's quite sad.

Isabel

Ditto William's remarks.

iliana

Great review Danielle. After I finished reading the book I too wondered how much I would have liked this if I had read it even 10 years ago. Perhaps not so much. Thank you for starting the thread at the forum. I'm behind as usual but plan to post my thoughts on the book later tonight and I'll check out the discussion soon.

Melanie

I'm glad you enjoyed this book; I love it. Hagar is just amazing, and Laurence is the exemplar of what I see as a trend in Canadian fiction -- that of old women looking back over their lives. I love that theme.

tara

Great review! This sounds like a really thought provoking book, and you are right, about things most of us don't want to think about. I also appreciated your thoughts on the Russell Banks books. I'm not so intrigued anymore.

Danielle

William--If this is a subject you're interested in--this is an excellent novel to read.
Lisa--I'll have to look for the book. I missed a few LT batches, so I'm not familiar with the title. It does sound very similar to the Laurence book. Hagar had two sons, but she favored one over the other. Of course the less loved one is the one who ends up taking care of her when she's older. If you liked the LT book, you might look for this one. It was written in 1964, but it's one of those enduring sorts of stories that still feels fresh reading it 40 years later!
Isabel--Definitely look out for this one!
Iliana--Some years back when I was working in the public schools here the art teacher highly recommended Margaret Laurence to me. She might even have said this book, but I never did look for her. I'm glad I've discovered her now, though, as I think I appreciate the book much more than I would have back then. I'm sure the discussion will be going on for a few days at least, so drop by when you can.
Melanie--Have you read any of Margaret Laurence's other novels? I'd like to find more by her. You might also try Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by British author Elizabeth Taylor--a similar story and also excellently told!
Tara--It was a little painful reading those sections where she is older and more forgetful and her body would do things entirely on its own that she didn't want it to. I've seen coworkers struggle with aging parents, so I've sort of gotten the other side of the story. It was interesting reading this from Hagar's perspective. And I feel bad about the Banks book. I hate turning off any reader from a book. If you think it sounds interesting you might borrow it from the library at least and see how you react to it. I think other readers have enjoyed it. I just couldn't get on with the characters.


Victoria

This sounds like a wonderful book, but I'm afraid its out of print in the UK and second hand copies are in the region of £16! :-( There are a couple of copies on mooch, but all in Canada and no-one will post internationally. Tis such a shame.

CoversGirl

Smile - I've just given you a Treasured Blogger Award!

Danielle

Victoria--I can't believe it's OOP in the UK. This is such a wonderful novel. I'd be happy to look out for an inexpensive copy here in the US (I suspect there are more copies floating around here). I mooched my copy. It is a very worthy read and now I'll be looking for more of her work!
CoversGirl--How very kind of you! That's certainly a nice way to start the weekend! :)

Elizabeth

As wonderful a writer as she was Margaret Laurence's novels often became books that people sought to have banned. The language and topics would often have people up in arms, not wanting them even in the school libraries, let alone taught to their children. Very sad. I've enjoyed all her novels. Great characters in them all.

Danielle

Elizabeth--It's always the thought provoking books people want to ban--a pity. I've ordered three more of her novels and can't wait to get them!

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