MacLennan’s use of two generations of English and French Canadians from 1917 – 1939 helped me to better understand the underlying tensions present today between the two. And tied in are the complexities of religious and economic animosities. I found myself sympathetic with some characters and angry and impatient with others – and that’s the mark of a good author who pulls you into their lives. His love of the Canadian landscape was obvious in his rich descriptions. By the end I felt like I had read a Canadian classic, written in 1945, that has stood the test of time.
Every Canadian would do well to read this classic,as well as "Barometer Rising". I hope it becomes popular again.
Athanase Tallard is born of an aristocratic French-Canadian tradition, while his beautiful wife Kathleen is of Irish heritage. Their son Paul, meanwhile, must find his identity as he represents both French and English -- he speaks both, but feels alienated from both cultures and he is struggling to help define his Canadian identity. See how his half-brother, Marius, deals with his life and outlook. While his friendship to Captain Yardley helps him try and understand there is more out there in life, but to be true to oneself. The beginnings of Quebec in Canadian history. Classic Canadian literature.
I really felt that I was in the hands of a master when I read this book. Exceptional. The only down for me was when the two young people fell in love--I thought it was too idealized, but it was written in 1945 and it was written by a man. Must read for all Canadians.
Jan 9, 2013. Well, this is my last book to read before the Canada Reads 2013 debates begin. Although this is the thickest, I think I will get it done in time. I've been looking forward to it. So far my favorite is still "Indian Horse", but I really did like "The Age of Hope" as well. Also liked "February", and I wasn't too fond of "Away"......Jan 17, only 50 pages left to go, I have to say, I found it a little boring around the middle, and it didn't pick up too much from there. I don't know, it just wasn't my thing. It did give me a few issues to think about.....nature vs industry, politics vs religion, but kind of struck me more like a textbook than a novel. I did pick up the reader's guide, but the most interesting thing there was that "Hugh, aged 12, moves into a tent in the back yard of the MacLennan family house. He sleeps in this tent winter and summer until his departure for Oxford in 1928." (10 years, Halifax!) Brrrrrrr! Do you think he was a sucker for punishment?!.......Jan 18, finished it last night, turned the page for more.....and it was done! Oh well, I'm now ready for the Canada Reads 2013 debates! My vote is for "Indian Horse." Can't wait!
A Canadian must-read! A compelling description of the lives and mindsets of French- and English Canadians in Quebec from the end of WWI to the beginning of WW2. Especially interesting if you have ever lived in Montreal or Quebec.
This book should be on the curriculum of every Canadian high school student.
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