The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a thoughtful, extremely well written novel by an author who loves words and their etymology. A widowed father of three boys reads a woman's classified ad saying "can't cook, but doesn't bite" and hires her sight unseen as the family housekeeper. The setting is 1910 rural Montana, with a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8.
Written in eloquent but sparse first person prose, I seemed to a nonfiction accounting of perhaps his grandfather, which it is not. This book was delightful! It made me laugh outloud, added some new words to my reading vocabulary and random facts to my store of knowledge. (Do you know what an orrery is? what the letters "chavivry" spell? what famous person was supposedly born in 1835 and died in 1910 with the coming and going of Haley's comet?) I enjoyed the audio version immensely and was sorry when it ended. I will read more of Ivan Doig.
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