The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig

I’m not usually a fan of the western but this was like no western I’ve ever read.  The story of a homesteader widow and his three young sons in Montana in the early 1900’s who take a chance and hire a housekeeper from back east hoping she was lying in her ad and really can cook, too.  It was an enjoyable glimpse of early American life in a one-room school house that culminated in a mystery that I didn’t see coming.  The writing was heavy in the language of the period with a sing-song quality at times that, at first, was hard to get immersed in.  I listened to most of it on audiobook by a good narrator which I believe was a better experience than trudging through the language and trying to find the voice of the book on my own.  A book club pick that I would recommend to anyone if you’re looking for a quick read you won’t have to think much about.

The book club discussion was surprisingly focused on JUST THE BOOK which was a welcome change for our crazy group lately.  We decided it isn’t really a western but more like a period drama which makes sense when I think about it.  After some of the very heavy and very political books we’ve read (and fought about) lately it was nice to have nothing but early American life and our ages to discuss.  I’m hoping to be one of the few of us who was alive in ’85 when Halley’s Comet came and still alive in my 90’s when it comes again.  Some in the room were too old to live that long while others were too young to see it in ’85.  I kind of had mixed feelings about that – I have old friends and ones that make ME feel old…

About terraluft

Writer; wife, mother and impulsive bitch incapable of saying no. Fueled by coffee, yoga and sarcasm. View all posts by terraluft

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