It's such a Canadian novel, from its setting to its content, and that distinctive atmospheric flair that CanLit is recognized for. This struck me to be the opposite end of Grace O'Connell's Magnified World , which skews younger in a more urban city-setting as to Saucier's novel. Both are alike in its elegance capture of love and loss in its prose. In a way, "And the Birds Rained Down" is so much more than just a book about aging and death. It's about rejuvenation from having lived a life amongst the eternal beauty of the wilderness of the North.
And what a spectacular way that is to live. May 24, Krista rated it really liked it Shelves: It was raining birds.
When the wind came up and covered the sky with a dome of black smoke, the air was in short supply, and you couldn't breathe for the heat and the smoke, neither the people nor the birds, and they fell like rain at our feet. And the Birds Rained Down is a small and quiet book, but it captures a bit of magic nonetheless. As author It was raining birds. The whims of a fire cannot be explained. It can climb the highest peaks, rip the blue from the sky, spread in a reddish glow, swelling, whistling — good god, it can leap onto anything that lives, jump from shore to shore, plunge into ravines soggy with water, devour peatlands, but leave a cow grazing in a circle of grass.
As the book begins, we meet a photographer unnamed throughout, this is apparently a common device in Saucier's work as she makes her way deep into the Northern Ontario wilderness. Having spent the previous two years tracking down and photographing the elderly survivors of the local Great Fires of the early twentieth century, she is hot on the trail of the most famous and elusive survivor of them all: Ted Boychuck; the Miracle Boy who featured in the memories of so many others; he who walked through a wall of flame, and half-blind, wandered for six days with a bouquet of flowers in his hand before disappearing for years.
When she stumbles upon a hidden camp, the photographer finds both more and less than she was hoping for: Boychuck has apparently died recently, but left in camp are two other octogenarians; two old men who, alongside Boychuck, had decided to live out their natural lives on their own terms, far from the family or social workers who might think it a kindness to lock them away. With nothing but a tinbox of strychnine and mutual promises to avoid unnecessarily painful ends, what looks to the photographer like a deathpact is actually a lifepact: When they enter Boychuck's cabin together, they discover that he had spent his time painting impressionistic scenes of smoke and fire — over three hundred canvases in all — and while the photographer is disappointed to have missed out on meeting the man himself, she realises that she has found so much more.
Are you this interested in the lives of others because you don't have one of your own? Several times the photographer — who can't stay away from the hidden camp and its cache of paintings — is accused of not having a life of her own, and while we don't really get to see what her life back in Toronto is like, we are introduced to two other characters who could be accused of the same: Miss Sullivan of the Matheson Museum is a spinster whose life was so empty that she took to following residents of her small town around, keeping notebooks on love affairs acknowledged and secretive.
She became so attuned to the habits and subtle actions of others that she could read volumes into footsteps and sighs.
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As she wasn't above steaming open people's letters at the Post Office, she also was the only one who knew why Boychuck wandered with his bouquet; what sent him to live in the woods. It wouldn't seem an accident that it's the old women who didn't live lives of their own while the old men had the freedom to live any way they liked; the fact that the photographer is repeatedly described as not particularly feminine likely explains why she straddles the two worlds.
There is nothing more beautiful than an impossible love. Ah, but you can't introduce a fragile old woman into an all-male wilderness camp without it shaking things up. Described several times as birdlike, as a fledgling who could easily be blown from her nest, Marie-Desneige who wasn't locked away for no reason is in need of protection, and one of the old men steps up; igniting a very touching late-life love story. And just as these old people demonstrate that they can fend for themselves outside of the hospitals and nursing homes they ran away from back home, there's something very poignant about an octogenarian love affair: And, yes, even dying on your own terms.
A smile for death is the final courtesy. From the historical underpinnings to the rock and bog and blackfly nature writing, this book follows steadily in the footsteps of classic CanLit. But by modernising the characters, Saucier evolves and elevates the tropes: Feb 26, Jim Puskas rated it it was amazing Shelves: A truly beautiful piece of work.
So much has been written and said about this book, not least of it during the live televised Canada Reads debates. Of the five finalists that year, I personally love this one the best. It is in every sense a celebration of life: Death hovers at every episode, peeking around every page, for most of these people are very old, so death is no stranger and holds no terrors for them.
But it is life that triumphs! View all 3 comments. Jun 12, Mary Soderstrom rated it really liked it. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Written in different voices, each adding his or her own perspective and personality. There is more to the story, in such a small book, it covers quite a bit and all of it is written in a heartfelt manner. Jeanne sur les routes Edition XYZ. This is not a long book,but it is filled with vivid scenes, intricate relationships, a couple of mysteries and a love story that gives hope to anyone who feels time at his or her back.
And the Birds Rained Down
Saucier says she started doing research on the great fires that swept northern Ontario, Minnesota and parts of Manitoba years ago. Between and thousands of square kilometers were burned by wildfires started as mining, logging and settlement moved into formerly lightly settled country.
Saucier's heroi This is not a long book,but it is filled with vivid scenes, intricate relationships, a couple of mysteries and a love story that gives hope to anyone who feels time at his or her back. Saucier's heroine, a photographer, is trying to make a record of the survivors and goes looking for the legendary Ted Boychuk, who was rendered temporarily blind yet managed to wander for months, searching for friends and family.
The photographer arrives at an encampment of old geezers two weeks after Boychuk's death, and so never hears him tell his story. She and his friends do discover, however, that he has exorcized the memories by making more than paintings of the time. A woman who also has terrible memories of mental illness arrives on the scene, and the small community changes in a way that no one expects.
Clearly Saucier was inspired by some paintings by members of the Group of Seven: Yet Saucier's story is original and moving. It's success cuts across age groups: Dec 06, Icewineanne rated it liked it Shelves: Three old men who decided to disappear from their mainstream lives, are found hiding out in Northern Ontario cut-off from mainstream society by a female journalist who has been searching for one of them to do a story on his life.
When the Rains Came
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Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Condition: GOOD. Has little wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing. About this Item: XYZ. Ships from the UK. Former Library book.
Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory GRP Condition: Comme neuf. Pas de jaquette. Dimensions: 13,8 cm X 21,5 cm X 1,2 cm. Published by XYZ Editions. One of the child survivors of the fire evoked her impression in this way. In its original French version, published in , the novel won several awards, including the prestigous Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie.
Translated expertly by Rhonda Mullins. Nov 09, Chrissie rated it liked it Shelves: In this respect I was not disappointed! The book deals with an incendiary storm, here the great Matheson Fire in northern Ontario. Settlers in the region cleared land using the slash and burn method. Memories haunted those who survived.vuryi.swanndvr.net/finanzas-y-desarrollo-diciembre-de.php
Get e-book Il pleuvait des oiseaux (Romans français) (French Edition)
A legend arose of a boy called Boychuck seen stumbling through smoldering flames, some say, clenching a bouquet of flowers. Having completed the story, I am still not quite sure. The heat from the fire was so intense that birds rained down from the sky. Reading the book is to experience this fire.
In the novel, a photographer at the end of the century is searching for the now elderly Boychuck. Is he still alive?