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The Whistling Season

The Whistling Season

by Ivan Doig

Paperback(First Edition)

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The Whistling Season 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
bekker More than 1 year ago
I read this on my Nook. Really enjoyed this book. Will definitely look for something else by this author. My only problem was with the editing. There were so very many typos, I wondered what was happening. I found it very distracting from the story. I don't think this should be the case, especially when the Nook price is so high anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic book I read in two sittings. I had started it earlier in the year, and gotten bored with it and put it down. I deeply regret doing so, as it was pure poetry to read and actually very gripping in the end. The Whistling Season starts with a family of four men, one father, three sons, applying for a housekeeper. What they get is sweet and caring Rose, and her brother, enccentric and brilliant Morrie. As the housekeeper's world of satin and housework collides with the boy's world of rural Montana, sparks in the form of secrets start to fly. I fell in love, broke my heart, laughed, cried, and came away from this book smiling with the notion that everything can change for the best. What I would give for a sequel.
Lynne-Dee-Wendling More than 1 year ago
Wonderful writer. I'm now reading his Sky book. I really looked forward every night to reading what comes next. Very original, wonderful plot, colorful characters, won't give story away. Deserves the five stars.
Skater1 More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly engrossing and completely captivating just the way the best kind of story should be. I felt bereft when it was over. This was my first read by Ivan Doig and I read it in paperback. From the reviews here, I understand that the Nook version has many type-os. This was not the case in paperback. It was immaculate and I am here for MORE, type-os or no! My hat is off to you Ivan.
Maertel More than 1 year ago
This should be required reading for all teachers!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As fan of historical fiction, I found the book very well-written and entertaining. The characters are well-developed and very believable within a family structure. The simpler days of farming and one-room schoolhouses brought back memories of the stories my mother would tell. The life was simple but Paul, the main character was facing the coming of age where moving beyond his family is not so far off. I also liked the author's choice of having Paul recall his childhood by telling the story with flashbacks. His use of the main character as the State School Superintendent lends itself well to the details of learning in a one-room schoolhouse and the teaching tools used at that time. It's was a far cry from all the technology and media incorporated into classroom today. A good read for relaxing and traveling back in time.
nivramkoorb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this story was a little too simple. The relationships were too one dimensional and the plot was very contrived. I did not get the same feel as the other reviewers. I doubt if I would seek out another book by Doig
av71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bittersweet book-- mostly enjoyed it except for some of the convoluted sentences which required repeated rereading for understanding. Also, Paul's confrontation with Morrie was troubling and sad to me but both handled it as well as possible. Incidentally, this cover is not the one that appears on the book I read though the ISBN matches.
silva_44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rarely do I award any book five stars, but this inauspicious little volume rocked me to the very core. Doig perfectly captured the rawness of Montana, without letting that same unyielding rawness transfer to the characters (save one or two), each of which was so beautifully written that I found myself savoring every page. His grasp on the workings of a little country school at the turn of the century proved to be quite accurate, from the stories that I've heard my grandfather tell of his days in a one-room schoolhouse. As a teacher, he inspired me to greater heights and the wish that I could be a Morris Morgan. He managed to perfectly blend the past and the present into a novel that is sure to stay in my imagination for years to come. Bravo!
lizhawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A tad bit predictable but lovely, engrossing story of a family on the Montana plains. Mom dies so Dad answers a newspaper ad for a housekeeper and gets Rose and Morrie, the likes of whom this small town has never seen.
Bellettres on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fine book, with captivating characters. I especially loved Paul, the academic prodigy, and Morrie, his mentor. (The one-room schoolhouse that is the focal point of the story reminded me not so much of "Little House on the Prairie" as of "The Waltons" and the character of John-Boy.) But Ivan Doig's prose is much more sophisticated than that, although it conveys perfectly the innocence of the early 20th century in this country. Having studied Latin for four years in high school, I also enjoyed its prominence in this novel. A first-rate reading experience that I'm grateful not to have missed!
laurie_library on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good storyline, and the author makes you believe that your'e actually in the small one-room school house. Sort of like little house on the prarie for boys. The ending was a bit far fetched forme though. I will read more of his stuff.
elsyd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just re-read this book and loved it even more the second time. What a great story of children growing up, wrestling with their conscientiouss and of education in a country school in 1910. Great characters.
Copperskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"When I visit the back corners of my life again after so long a time, littlest things jump out first." And so begins this utterly delightful, gently humorous, very old-fashioned kind of book. Written in first person, our narrator, Paul, takes us back to the Fall of 1909 when he was twelve and living with his recently widowed father and two younger brothers in Marias Coulee, Montana. Their life, and the central action of the story, is centered on the one-room schoolhouse. This is my first book by Doig and it certainly won't be my last. His writing is poetic as he captures the time and sense of place beautifully. The characters are well drawn, they feel almost like people you know and with whom you'd want to sit a spell. I'm looking forward to revisiting Morrie in Work Song. Recommended especially for fans of Kent Haruf, Leif Enger, and, although I haven't read her, I suspect, Laura Ingles Wilder. I would also recommend for patient middle to high school readers who will easily relate to the story.
BobNolin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book. Just perfect in every way. Great story, characters that breathe on the page, and a plot that's surprisingly clever. Morrie Morgan steals the show. Someone we all wish we had for a teacher, or a reminder of that special teacher we once had. Starting an ARC of Work Song, the sort of sequel, this time starring Morrie. Yea!
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ivan Doig's The Whistling Season is a well-written, charming look into America's past. The lives of the Montana homesteaders and their families come to vivid life within the pages, allowing this reader to lose herself in the beauty of Doig's descriptions. The language Doig uses is artistic, exquisitely illustrating a way of life lost to us many years ago.There are so many great things about The Whistling Season that I could quite literally write pages about it! The characters in are phenomenally well-formed. From Rose and her brother Morrie, to Oliver and his boys, to the schoolyard bullies they encounter, Doig has created realistic and complex characters, leaving the reader wanting more. The setting constructed in The Whistling Season is wonderfully atmospheric and the detail the novel contains is simply breathtaking.Ivan Doig's The Whistling Season is everything a good story should be - interesting and entertaining, with realistic characters and a strong sense of setting. What more can a reader ask for?
-Cee- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a truly great book! Doig writes with such explicit emotion and detail - across age ranges and temperments. His writing sweeps me away. The varied characters in this 1909 Montana setting are so timeless and believable. They remind me of real people I know today. This is a touching family story within a small community told by Paul, a 13 year old boy. Paul's father is a widower with three boys. There is humor, tragedy, love, fear, and amazement in their everyday hardscrabble existence as a feminine influence breezes in restoring order and connection. An interesting juxtaposition of perspectives of Paul at 13 and Paul in his later years is woven lightly throughout. Paul struggles and comes to terms with perspectives on adult relationships, temptations to compromise values in an effort to succeed in life, forgiveness, the value of a small town education and learning to live with others. I wanted to see the comet. I wanted to race backwards on horseback. I wanted to talk and listen to Morrie. I wanted to have an early morning cocoa with Rose. In a way, I did all that. Doig is that good.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This gentle coming of age tale about a family homesteading on the Montana prairie is beautifully written and just enfolds around you and carries you to another place. Seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, we are treated to a simple story that touches the emotions. With great descriptions, the author gives a quiet, natural earthiness to the story yet adds a playful humor to aid the flow of the narrative. The story revolves around the importance of the one room school house to rural communities, and, in fact much of the story takes place in the classroom. How one teacher can enter the lives of their students and change them forever, how families pull together in both good times and bad, and how being a good neighbour meant so much more in those isolated places than it does today. Not an earth shaking drive towards a climax, just a gentle tale of reminiscence.Ivan Doig remains one of my favorite authors and The Whistling Season shines through in it¿s simplicity
KAzevedo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set on the plains of Montana in the early 1900s, this is the lovely story of a farm family, a widower and his three young sons. A woman's touch arrives in the form of a young and excellent housekeeper, hired via an advertisement that is headed "Can't Cook But Doesn't Bite". With her comes her brother, Morrie, an educated dandy who becomes the teacher of grades one through eight in the one-room schoolhouse. There is a touch of mystery about them, but their presence enlivens the following year for all who live nearby. Through the eyes of Paul, the oldest son and a scholar, we experience life on a dry farm and in a small rural school. This gentle story is full of humor and warmth, with richly described characters and a strong sense of place. It evokes a longing for a less cynical time. Doig's simple writing style creates a place and characters that I came to care for.
ElizabethChapman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Whistling Season is a wonderfully enjoyable novel, a story that keeps you turning the pages without resorting to cliff-hanging adventure or drama. It compels simply by the strength of its characters and ability to conjure the life of Montana dry farmers in the early 20th century.The story is told through the eyes of Paul, a thirteen-year-old boy living with his two brothers and widowed father, narrated by Paul¿s adult self. When the family answers an ad for a housekeeper, Rose shows up with her brother, Morrie. Before long Rose has the house in good running order and Morrie becomes the teacher in the one-room schoolhouse. Paul is exceptionally intelligent, and the combination of his boyish innocence and nearly adult perceptiveness make him an unusual and effective narrator. The wistfulness of the man is already lurking the boy, and the joy of existence still lingers in the adult. I highly recommend The Whistling Season to anyone who enjoys beautiful but understated writing and great story-telling.
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even when it stands vacant the past is never empty. In The Whistling Season, Paul Milliron returns to his childhood home in the capacity of Montana's Superintendent of Schools, on a hateful errand to shut down the state's one-room schools. Back at his vacant childhood home, the never-empty past of Paul's youth comes to us through the author's pen. If you are of an age to remember the TV series, The Waltons, you'll understand what I mean when I say that this story played in my head like an episode of The Waltons. With just the merest hint of what is going on in his life in the story's 'now' (late 1950s), framing the story of what happened 'then', when he was about 13 (1910). It was spare living but a full life, lived with his father and brothers, and riding their horses to the one-room schoolhouse, same as the rest of the 'neighbors'. Arrow heads, buffalo bones, Halley's comet, irrigation projects, dryland farming, cooking, language and learning Latin, and dreaming are the stuff of Paul's youth.Montana was real to me in this book. I may not have been in the saddle (thank you, says the horse), but I felt the dust and the frost. These people were real to me, too, especially the brothers. Their various personalities and temperaments were true to each throughout. Setting, characters and story ¿ everything ¿ was perfect. Close the book for the last time, close your eyes, and you'll still hear the whistling ¿ the wind, the woman and the swans. It is a harmony in the ears of my heart, the melody of a lost way of life, the song of one-room schoolhouses, of the young folks educated there, and the sturdy pioneers from which they descended.I loved this book! (5 stars)
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of the year. Set in rural Montana in 1909-1910, [The Whistling Season] is told through the eyes of Paul Milliron, a seventh grader in a one-room schoolhouse in Marias Coulee. When Paul's recently widowed father, Oliver, see an ad for a housekeeper who "can't cook but doesn't bite," he invites Rose into their home and their lives. Accompanying her is her brother, Morrie, who takes over as the teacher of the one-room schoolhouse. Both Rose and Morrie are exactly what Paul and his two brothers need in their lives. and they soon become invaluable in helping them deal with the challenges that face the boys. This is the type of story that I generally like. I enjoy getting a sense of another place and time through fiction. But this story shines because Paul provides an amazingly insightful window on the world. Doig does an excellent job of capturing the voice of this precocious 13-year-old. While the events that unfold are at times suspenseful, this is not a plot driven story. Rather, everytime I opened the book, I felt as though I was getting to spend some time in this place and time that are so different from my own, with people who I loved. I hated to see the book end. I spent some time trying to come up with other characters in literature who remind me of Paul, and I can't come up with a comparison. But I did find myself thinking that Oliver reminded me a bit of Atticus Finch. And that is high praise indeed.This will be on my list of best books of the year. I can't wait to read more by Doig.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
October, 1909. The all-male Milliron household is getting by a year after losing their wife and mother. A chance newspaper advertisement brings excitement into their lives in the form of a housekeeper from Minneapolis ¿ a housekeeper who ¿can't cook but doesn't bite.¿ Typically for a small community, the Milliron's new domestic arrangements spill over into the three brothers' school life. Decades later, the oldest Milliron brother, Paul, recalls the events of this pivotal year in the lives of his family and of their rural Montana school. It's clear that the newcomers will be catalysts for change, but it's not clear whether the changes will be for better or worse.The Whistling Season will provoke nostalgia in many readers ¿ for family and community, for the carefree days of childhood, for simpler times that exist only in memory. However, this is much more than a sentimental, ¿feel good¿ book. Doig is a master story teller ¿ dramatic without being melodramatic, and very witty. No detail is unimportant, yet the details don't weigh the story down. If readers haven't already identified with Paul, they'll be hooked by his description of his part of a shared bedroom: My books already threatened to take over my part of the room and keep on going. Mother's old ones, subscription sets Father had not been able to resist, coverless winnowings from the schoolhouse shelf¿whatever cargoes of words I could lay my hands on I gave safe harbor. I think book lovers everywhere will recognize that room! Highly recommended.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paul Milliron, Superintendent of Montana's Department of Public Instruction, has the unpleasant task of announcing the closure of the state's one room schoolhouses. He was a product of the one in Marias Coulee himself. Much of the book is a recollection of his 7th grade year. His mother had died. His dad sees an advertisement for a woman living in Minneapolis who wishes to move west and become a housekeeper. They really believe that the part of the ad about her not knowing how to cook is a joke, but soon find out its truth. Accompanying her is Morrie who is practically a walking encyclopedia. Morrie had a great influence on Paul. When I first began reading this book, I was a bit distracted by life, and the book got off to a slow start even though I really could not fault anything. However, the more I read, the more I enjoyed the book. I'm really not quite sure how I feel about the ending of the historic portion of the book. It's probably realistic, especially for that period in Montana's history, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I think the one thing that bothered me most about the pending closure of the one-room schools in favor of the consolidated schools was the statement made in the book that no child would have to ride on a bus more than 1.5 hours each way. In today's schools, I'm not sure this could be justified because of the high cost of gasoline. It also makes for a very long day for the children. That's 3 hours in addition to a normal 7 hour school day. I also believe that the students in many of those one room schoolhouses learned far more in the first eight grades than today's students. Some would say that it's just a different type of learning, but having seen many college students unprepared for college, I believe that some of those students were better prepared for today's colleges than are many current students. It's definitely a thought-provoking literary work.
chinquapin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Widower Oliver Milliron hires Rose Llewellyn to come and housekeep for him and his three boys on his Montana homestead after reading her advertisement claiming she "can't cook but doesn't bite." And thus begins a season of change in the Milliron world. The story is told from the point of view of the oldest son, 12 year old Paul Milliron, and his youthful outlook sets a perfect tone. With Rose comes her highly educated brother, Morrie, who in many ways seems out of place in this world of prairie dry farmers, but after the schoolteacher runs off with an itinerant preacher, he becomes the new schoolmaster of the one-room schoolhouse. He gets the whole community excited about the arrival of Halley's comet and begins to teach Latin to Paul. Much of the story revolves around the schoolhouse, and there is even a case made for the efficiency and importance of these schools in the face of the school consolidation movement. There is also a sense of the world changing. This book is set around 1910 when technology was just beginning to change the rural landscape for all time, and Doig covers this period and its energy masterfully. All in all, this was a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed...so much so that I will probably seek out another Ivan Doig book.