Heart Earth

Heart Earth

Book - 1993
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Publisher: New York : Toronto : Atheneum ; Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993.
ISBN: 9780689121371
0689121377
Characteristics: x, 160 p. ; 23 cm.

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DorisWaggoner
Jun 29, 2019

I haven't yet read "This House of Sky," to which this is a prequel. Doig remembered little of his mother, who died on his 6th birthday. Then his uncle, her brother, bequeathed him the letters she sent him during a brief period during WW II, when he's on a destroyer in the Pacific, and she, Doig's father, and Ivan, aged five, are restlessly moving around the West in search of work and a climate conducive to her severe asthma. The letters open a whole new world to Ivan about his mother, the relationship between his parents, and that between his father and his maternal grandmother, who raise him after her death. The cover tells exactly what's going to happen, but Doig writes it from the child's point of view. Thus I read it with growing apprehension as the end approached. Can't wait to read "The House of Sky," which I have on hold. For some reason, this isn't as good as many of Doig's books; maybe because it might need to be read after "Sky." Much of Doig's poetic language is lost in a story written from the perspective of an adult looking back on his life so many years before. But Doig never wrote a "bad" book, so I still greatly enjoyed reading it.

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StephenFoster
May 18, 2019

A beautiful book. Recalling his childhood, and re-reading found letters of his mother, Doig wonderfully integrates his own memories with his family's experiences. He did in-depth research to support his memoir, including WWII, its effects on Montanans,
and rapid economic change as WWII was ending. The powerful sense of place he invoked in This House of Sky (l978) is also part of Heart Earth. The Montana climate and challenging terrain deeply shaped his parents' lives and his own. He describes the rugged and difficult lives of his parents and family in this second memoir. I highly recommend his book.

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rtwete
Mar 07, 2011

Sequel of sorts to This House of Sky, memoir published in 1978. Uncle has left him some letters, from author's mother to her brother. Mother died when author was 6, so they shed some light on some of his "wonderings".

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