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Crow Lake

Crow Lake By Mary Lawson Crow Lake Crow Lake is that rare find a first novel so quietly assured so emotionally pitch perfect you know from the opening page that this is the real thing a literary experience in which to lose yourself

  • Title: Crow Lake
  • Author: Mary Lawson
  • ISBN: 9780385337632
  • Page: 494
  • Format: Paperback
  • Crow Lake By Mary Lawson Crow Lake is that rare find, a first novel so quietly assured, so emotionally pitch perfect, you know from the opening page that this is the real thing a literary experience in which to lose yourself, by an author of immense talent.Here is a gorgeous, slow burning story set in the rural badlands of northern Ontario, where heartbreak and hardship are mirrored in the landsCrow Lake is that rare find, a first novel so quietly assured, so emotionally pitch perfect, you know from the opening page that this is the real thing a literary experience in which to lose yourself, by an author of immense talent.Here is a gorgeous, slow burning story set in the rural badlands of northern Ontario, where heartbreak and hardship are mirrored in the landscape For the farming Pye family, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and terrible events occur offstage Centerstage are the Morrisons, whose tragedy looks immediate if less brutal, but is, in reality, insidious and divisive Orphaned young, Kate Morrison was her older brother Matt s protegee, her fascination for pond life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope but seems blind to the state of her own emotional life And she thinks she s outgrown her siblings Luke, Matt, and Bo who were once her entire world In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, of resentments harbored and driven underground, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control, continually overturning one s expectations right to the very end Tragic, funny, unforgettable, Crow Lake is a quiet tour de force that will catapult Mary Lawson to the forefront of fiction writers today.
    Crow Lake By Mary Lawson

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    One thought on “Crow Lake

    1. B the BookAddict on said:

      Very basically, Crow Lake is the story of four orphaned children in a remote farming community Kate, the third child, narrates the story twenty years later, looking back on their childhood from her now removed life in Toronto Her relationship with her older brother Matt was paramount in her childhood and his passion for nature helped nurture her love of the ecology in turn, leading to her profession as a zoologist Through now adult eyes, Kate sees the struggles, heartbreak and hardship in the fa [...]

    2. Carol on said:

      This was a simply told and captivating family drama with a northern Ontario setting I ve never been there but the author s observations of that area in Canada established such a powerful sense of place that the story came alive for me I grew up in the high plains of eastern Colorado Kent Haruf territory and there were parts of this novel that echo my own rural background especially her description of life for farm families.The story details the struggles of four siblings who were orphaned when t [...]

    3. Zoeytron on said:

      just one dropped stitch in a family tapestry full of holes This is a story of strong familial bonds forged early in life, then eroding from deep seated resentments, guilt, and an ingrained reluctance to speak the truth and set things straight Smiling on the outside, hurting on the inside, even simple eye contact too uncomfortable to maintain This author has a knack for writing characters so vivid that you would recognize any one of them if he or she came knocking at your front door Luke, Matt, [...]

    4. Marita on said:

      I believe we have choice The idea that we are carried along by fate, unable to resist or change direction, sounds suspiciously like an excuse to me Kate Morrison, Assistant Professor Invertebrate Ecology , faces a problem She has been invited to her nephew s eighteenth birthday celebration which she plans to attend However, the invitation extends to her bringing a friend, and the current man in her life has seen the invitation The problem is that much as she cares for Professor Daniel Crane, she [...]

    5. Betsy Robinson on said:

      I feel such a commonality with this book Mary Lawson s style, the movements, the issues, the dialogue that is perfect pitch and as natural as breathing that it almost renders me speechless It s a story about children raising children About no grownups About being propelled into adult responsibility as a child and the delusions of survivor s guilt There s a short QA with Lawson marylawson qa video where she qualifies the story as complete fiction I believe her The commonality I feel is not that I [...]

    6. Tea Jovanović on said:

      Ve sam pisala o lepoti kanadske knji evnosti Ovo je jedna od kanadskih autorki ije knjige obavezno treba pro itati I koje se dugo pamte A svaka njena nova knjiga s e njom i nestrpljenjem se i ekuje Jedva ekam da je neko od vas pro ita i da ujem va e utiske

    7. Wanda on said:

      I feel like I ve just been hit by a truck this book blindsided me and despite the impact, I adore it This may be because it ticks so many of my personal boxes, but I ve been wandering the house since I finished it, ploughing my way through laundry, dinner, dishes, trying desperately to find my footing again, while I m processing.Within the first few pages of the book, Katherine s parents are killed in a car accident, sending the four children on a confusing, agonizing struggle to put their lives [...]

    8. Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* on said:

      I have pursued your dream single mindedly I have become familiar with books and ideas you never even imagined, and somehow, in the process of acquiring all that knowledge, I have managed to learn nothing at all Beautifully written and emotionally moving, Crow Lake is told through the point of view of a young woman who has lived through a certain type of family hell and survived it Sort of Four children, different ages with different temperaments, are forced into bonds and responsibility that wei [...]

    9. Jane Siviski on said:

      It s a strange thing that I came across this book I found it wedged into the back of a shelf downstairs It seems I read it at the perfect time It came to me in the midst of serious, physical grief, the kind where your body is taken over by sadness and is simply a vessel for your shaking and sobbing and wailing Oh the wailing You will wail And not in the Wayne s World sense Its the kind of thing that you can t let anyone else listen to, because what the wailing is is the pain leaving your body Th [...]

    10. Terry on said:

      I wanted to like it, I did I just didn t It just didn t feel new to me And I didn t find the writing style especially evocative The narrator of the story speaks and thinks like a 50 year old, and I kept shaking my head to clear it when I was reminded that she was in her late 20s And I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate books that keep the big moment until the last few pages, but spend the previous 300 pages muttering dark asides such as But that was beforehappened or If I only knew what was about to happ [...]

    11. Camie on said:

      The Morrison children have been left orphans in the farming community of Crow Lake which is part of the wild terrain in Ontario, causing them to become a project of sorts for the townspeople Meanwhile a nearby family the Pyes, are having plenty of tragedy themselves The eldest two Morrison boys have worked on the Pye farm on occasion throughout the years and it s no surprise that the two families are drawn together in grief This is Mary Lawson s debut novel 2002 She has written a book with rich [...]

    12. Rebecca McNutt on said:

      Crow Lake is undeniably evocative of rural Canada, but at times the pacing is really slow and dry, not really the kind of story I often read.

    13. Bonnie Brody on said:

      This book is a gem for lovers of literary fiction Mary Lawson captures the emotions and narratives of one family in Northern Ontario and puts them onto the page and into the hearts of readers Told from the perspective of Kate, we are privy to the gifts, challenges, and tragedies that the Morrisons encounter, endure and surmount.As the novel opens, the four children Luke, Matt, Kate and Bo are depicted as living a comfortable life with their middle class parents in a remote area of Canada Luke ha [...]

    14. Snotchocheez on said:

      3.5 starsSpare and somber but not overly so , Mary Lawson s Crow Lake is evocative of Carol Shields Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Stone Diaries but to its credit isn t quite as overladen with flowery prose or twee cutesiness Both novels are set in rural Canada Crow Lake in the northern most inhabited reaches of Ontario, Stone Diaries in stone quarry filled central Manitoba both feature a female narrator whistfully looking back on their hardscrabble rural pasts In the right melancholic frame o [...]

    15. Carol on said:

      This story is about much than relationships It is about life It is about organisms that live in ponds and how they cling to life It is about family It is about carrying on the dreams and hopes of previous generations It is about education and how important it is and how, sometimes, you miss life as it is happening It is a lyrical and wonderfully magical story that ensnares you in its telling It is dreamy and haunting It is one of the better books I ve read this year it is something I was not ex [...]

    16. BrokenTune on said:

      I remember reading somewhere a theory to the effect that each member of a family has a role the clever one , the pretty one , the selfish one Once you ve been established in the role for a while you re stuck with it no matter what you do people will still see you as whatever it was but in the early stages, according to the theory, you have some choice as to what your role will be This was one of the books on my Canada reading list Most titles on this list are books and authors I had never heard [...]

    17. BookLover on said:

      I read this book several months ago and am still having a hard time reviewing this properly To say I loved this book would be a huge understatement It was such a powerful story and one that stays with you for a long time to come This is the story of Kate Morrison and her tragic childhood, after being orphaned quite young I found myself quite emotional throughout the book not because the subject matter was sad, but because Mary Lawson made me feel everything The story was told in such a subtle wa [...]

    18. Amanda on said:

      Book 26 of 2009Back to the serious side of things I guess I ve been chewing on this book for a couple of days now, never being really invested in it to make a big to finishing it, certainly not devouring it like the last five books or so I m not even really sure how I feel about it Its almost anticlimatic in a way The whole book builds up to this supposedly huge catastrophe, which isn t really a catastrophe at all, but a decision moving life one way instead of another But the supposed catastroph [...]

    19. Jeannie on said:

      I really enjoyed this book The story moved along slowly but never failed to keep my attention I hated to see it end I look forward to reading by this writer Highly recommend.

    20. Pamela on said:

      A caterpillar, within a cocoon over a set period of time, transforms into a butterfly But it is the struggle to emerge which allows it to thrive, transformed Figuratively, humans who have experienced tragedies are like caterpillars except that the cocoon period varies from individual to individual, as does the degree of struggle required to resurrect anew from the experience In that sense, tragedy can be a beautiful miraculous thing Mary Lawson, in her novel Crow Lake, not only weaves a beautifu [...]

    21. Kate on said:

      One way to tell if I have enjoyed a book is as I near the end I purposely slow my reading down I don t want my relationship with the characters to end I want to savor the final knowing Such was the case with Crow lake Kate is an academic from a rural Northern Canadian small town At 27 she is falling in love with Daniel,a fellow academic who has less complicated background For her to come to terms with this, she needs to gain insight into why it is not easy to let love in Her past contains traged [...]

    22. Sonya on said:

      This book has been sitting on my shelf, unread, for many years I wish I d left it there While this is Mary Lawson s first book, my sympathy is limited She offers no depth to her characters You develop no bonds with anyone in the book It has a poorly assembled storyline which is supposed to develop into an emotional epiphany for the flat protagonist Kate however, by the end of the book, Kate has learned almost nothing about herself and, what she has learned , was not picked up by her after years [...]

    23. Maggie Stiefvater on said:

      It took me a month to read Crow Lake from beginning to end Not because it s a long book, but because it s a slow book It s a story of two girls raised by their older brothers after their parents die in a car crash It portrays, poignantly and humorously, the close relationship between the siblings absolutely beautiful The plot will not change the world, but by the end of the book, I felt like I d met four people and I was sad to leave them I d love to accomplish that in my writing wondering why a [...]

    24. Shelby *trains flying monkeys* on said:

      Good story I liked Katie the main character of the story and adored her family members Especially Bo I could picture that child exactly Touching but a short book I actually wanted .

    25. Jeanette"Astute Crabbist" on said:

      This is very cleanly written, so it s a fast read Just a good simple story about 4 children who lose their parents in a car accident and the struggles they go through to stay together as a family The narrator looks back on how the choices each of them made altered their own lives as well as the lives of their siblings I ve been reading a lot of emotionally wrenching stuff lately, so this was a nice calm read for a change I liked her second novel The Other Side of the Bridge a little better becau [...]

    26. Teresa on said:

      a fabulous read, beautifully written with vivid characters It s a short, easy read but I found myself very moved by the representation of the Morrison family This novel is never overly sentimental or gushing it s one which will stay with me for a long time and whose characters I will remember fondly something which doesn t happen that often to me Since there isn t the option to give 4.5, I ve given it 5, only because I m probably too harsh at times.

    27. Mari Anne on said:

      This was the story of a family turned upside down after the parents are killed in a crash The writer beautifully evokes the emotions of the children left behind and the starkness of their northern Canada surroundings However, like the Canadian wilderness this story left me a bit cold The protagonist Katy wasn t very likable and was a bit stilted The plot didn t seem to go much of anywhere and the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying.

    28. ☮Karen on said:

      I am in awe of the ability of Mary Lawson to have created such a beautiful narrative in her debut The story is so real and relatable, I am guilty of placing myself and my life into so many of the family scenes as they were constructed The plot slowly gains momentum, and reaches a very satisfying ending Gripping, insightful, and heartfelt I highly recommend this one.

    29. Poiema on said:

      I couldn t put this book down until I finished 3 30 a.m It s been a while since I have done that but I d have to say Crow Lake was worth it.The narrator, Kate, is a 27 year old biologist with a very successful career But that career does not fully satisfy her because she has loose ends to tidy up with her siblings It s something that she would rather postpone indefinitely, but circumstances force her to sort through the emotional baggage Her story builds to a satisfactory conclusion and she is a [...]

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