A Bird in the House

Margaret Laurence Isabel Huggan

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A Bird in the House

A Bird in the House By Margaret Laurence Isabel Huggan A Bird in the House One of Canada s most accomplished authors combines the best qualities of both the short story and the novel to create a lyrical evocation of the beauty pain and wonder of growing up In eight interco

  • Title: A Bird in the House
  • Author: Margaret Laurence Isabel Huggan
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 110
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A Bird in the House By Margaret Laurence Isabel Huggan One of Canada s most accomplished authors combines the best qualities of both the short story and the novel to create a lyrical evocation of the beauty, pain, and wonder of growing up.In eight interconnected, finely wrought stories, Margaret Laurence recreates the world of Vanessa MacLeod a world of scrub oak, willow, and chokecherry bushes of family love and conflict One of Canada s most accomplished authors combines the best qualities of both the short story and the novel to create a lyrical evocation of the beauty, pain, and wonder of growing up.In eight interconnected, finely wrought stories, Margaret Laurence recreates the world of Vanessa MacLeod a world of scrub oak, willow, and chokecherry bushes of family love and conflict and of a girl s growing awareness of and passage into womanhood The stories blend into one masterly and moving whole poignant, compassionate, and profound in emotional impact.In this fourth book of the five volume Manawaka series, Vanessa MacLeod takes her rightful place alongside the other unforgettable heroines of Manawaka Hagar Shipley in The Stone Angel, Rachel Cameron in A Jest of God, Stacey MacAindra in The Fire Dwellers, and Morag Gunn in The Diviners.From the Paperback edition.
    A Bird in the House By Margaret Laurence Isabel Huggan

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    One thought on “A Bird in the House

    1. Ariel on said:

      I m having a hard time being objective with this read since I read it for my Canadian Short Stories class and had to present on it for three hours THREE HOURS I TALKED A LOT ABOUT IT I think it s a really sad book And I found the ending a bit defeatist I thought the family dynamic was really toxic But I also thought it was interesting.

    2. Julia on said:

      3.75 out of 5 stars I went upstairs to my room Momentarily I felt a sense of calm, almost acceptance Rest beyond the river I knew now what that meant It meant Nothing It meant only silence forever Really enjoyed all the symbolism as well as the characters and their relationships.

    3. Krista on said:

      I like reading short stories even though the form confounds me a bit I ve heard it said that short stories are harder to write than novels, so I often wonder why an author like Alice Munro chooses the format, and as a reader, as much as I love her collections, I feel a bit deflated as each story ends and I am compelled to pause and decide if I want to immediately start the process of meeting and understanding a whole new cast of characters on the next page With A Bird In The House, Margaret Laur [...]

    4. kp on said:

      This is an old favorite, and I picked it up to choose a story to include in my first year lit class in the fall Laurence renders beautifully the balance between skepticism and wonder that characterizes one girl s developing insights into the structure of the adult world that restrains and consoles her Each story is a jewel of introspection, but taken together, they form an episodic novel that is to me one of the most moving accounts in literature of finding your way through family dynamics The c [...]

    5. Jade on said:

      Margaret Laurence s A Bird in the House was honestly one of the best works I ve read in a long time Were it possible to give it 11 stars, I would The writing style is very smooth, and rather unemotional considering the nature of the stories The format of interconnected short stories featuring the same protagonist is a genius way of telling childhood stories they don t always run in chronological order, and something about that makes you feel connected to Vanessa Perhaps it s that you feel less [...]

    6. Theryn Fleming on said:

      A Bird in the House is the 4th book in a five book series that Margaret Laurence wrote about the fictional Manitoba town of Manawaka based on her hometown of Neepawa It s not a series in the sense that one normally thinks of a series the books are only loosely connected each one has a different main character and so they really stand alone There s no need to read them in order or together This is a book that I think I could re read over and over again It s actually not a novel, but eight interco [...]

    7. Kansas on said:

      Me ha recordado mucho a una pelicula, El Rio de Jean Renoir Una pena que Margaret Laurence no haya sido editada en castellano, una escritora inmensa a la altura de Alice Munro o Margaret Atwood.Qu buenas son las escritoras canadienses l

    8. Lola Estelle on said:

      Such a beautiful book It made me nostalgic for a time and place I ve never experienced Simple yet haunting I m not normally one for child protagonists, but Vanessa is neither saccharine nor overly sassy precocious I want to write like this.

    9. Gisela on said:

      What a classic The writing is pitch perfect, the stories all consuming A truly wonderful collection of short stories.

    10. Laina SpareTime on said:

      Cross posted from my blog where there s information on where I got my copy and links and everything.This was a hidden gem There are probably a lot of people who are chuckling at me realizing this, though But I hadn t ever heard of this besides seeing it on my shelves The format of this is really interesting, as the timeline jumps around at times, and everything is being told by adult Vanessa about her childhood self and family Hence why this is an adult novel about a young character, not a YA n [...]

    11. Janet Aird on said:

      These short stories are all told by Vanessa MacLeod, a child growing up in a home dominated by her crotchety grandfather Vanessa s gentle grandmother and their two daughters, Vanessa s mother and Vanessa s frustrated Aunt Edna also live in the home The characters, their relationships and their stories were interesting to me than they normally would have been because they were seen through the eyes of a child who was struggling to understand them Laurence captures Vanessa beautifully.

    12. Plum-crazy on said:

      A really nice easy read about a young girl growing up in Canada I felt like I was reading about someone s own childhood very believable characters that you came to care about It s quite a short book I would have been happy to have a few chaptersa little gem.It reminded me of something else I think I finally put my finger on what it wasVanessa reminded me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.

    13. Daniel Kukwa on said:

      I love Margaret Laurence s characters infuriating, indomitable, patient, exasperated, and deeply compelling This novel masquerading as a short story collection is full of such memorable characters, and they enhance simple, direct, straightforward tales of love, life, and loss It reads like the quintessential work of CanLit they should all feel, smell, and sound like this.

    14. Liz Barlow on said:

      Laurence is a master craftsman when it comes to short stories Descriptions are vivid and the characters are people we have all known so the sense of familiarity relaxing and engaging Poignancy, humour and an honesty in the telling all adds to a great reading experience.

    15. Emily Elizabeth on said:

      3.5 only because it s not a novel I would typically pick up as it s for ENG course but enjoyed it all the same.

    16. Anna Karol on said:

      Great book Terribly adorable Easy to relate to Vanessa and her peers.

    17. Teresa on said:

      Well, I m a Laurence fan so this review may not be entirely unbiased Yes, it is a collection of short stories, but presented together to create a novel This works in some ways but has definite drawbacks, for instance the story line is choppy and it prevents her from developing characters and story deeply It was said of Mordecai Richler s Solomon Gursky Was Here that there was enough material for a thousand stories in a lesser man s hands I take that comment as a compliment that Richler was able [...]

    18. Cynthia Davidson on said:

      A Canadian friend of mine, Margaret Joe, suggested I read Margaret Laurence s work, and I am so glad I listened to her advice The self awareness of the young narrator in this collection of short stories helped me get in touch with my own inner child in the most pleasant way and my inner elder since her perspective includes that arc of time passed.The way she nails the view youngsters have of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and their revealing comments might make you reconsider what you let [...]

    19. Deanna on said:

      My all time favorite Canadian author, Margaret Laurence relives her own childhood memories of her grandfather s brick house and the family inside it A collection of short stories, each one is based on a her life as a child growing up They are very Canadian stories I m not sure how to explain that any better Other authors who detail their own growing up years with a few embellishments are Sinclair Ross, who writes through a woman s narration about the loneliness, the desolation of the prairies in [...]

    20. HeavyReader on said:

      I almost didn t read this book.I found it in a free box and took it home for winter reading Winter turned into spring and I decided I had plenty to read and listed it on BookMooch No one mooched it, so I ended up reading it.I really really enjoyed this book I m not really sure I can explain why I m not really sure I understand why But I really really enjoyed this book.The author did a good job of telling the story through the narrator The narrator is an adult, maybe even an older adult, telling [...]

    21. Laura Gpie on said:

      This book is home to me I read each of the short stories in this book on their own originally, and out of order, over a number of years And I ve read them together as a novella countless times They stand alone, and they stand as a coherent, interconnected story.Laurence masterfully captures the voice of Vanessa, her young protagonist, in a way that doesn t condescend to children, but also doesn t grant comprehension beyond their experience In part, she accomplishes this by telling the story as a [...]

    22. Mrsgaskell on said:

      This is one of the books in Margaret Laurence s Manawaka series It s a series of short stories, but since the main character remains the same, it is just as satisfying as a novel In the first story we are introduced to 10 year old Vanessa MacLeod and at the Brick House, the home of her maternal grandparents, we meet her extended family The characters seem entirely real Vanessa, a lonely girl and budding writer mother Beth who is expecting a second child father Ewan, a World War I veteran and doc [...]

    23. Caitlin on said:

      I was not expecting to love this, but it has fast become one of my favourites These stories are exquisite The writing is so perfectly distilled, there is nothing and nothing less written then exactly what there should be And what a perfect form for its subject matter A series of self contained short stories, inter related through their characters and their narration by Vanessa Macleod for whom they are childhood memories, understood and related to us through the lens of her adulthood The storie [...]

    24. Lucy Amalia Turner on said:

      My friend got me started on Margaret Laurence with The Diviners, and except for a few moments when I perceived language choices as not aging well since the 1970s , I loved it Manawaka and its people feel incredibly real A Bird in the House, a short story collection in the mode of Alice Munro s The Beggar Maid same characters throughout , also set in Manawaka, can be read and enjoyed either with or independently of The Diviners The language is unfussy and, to my ear, maybe even powerful than in [...]

    25. Heather Josephine Pue on said:

      Another brilliant Margaret Laurence novel The novel is told in a series of fragmented, out of order short stories about protagonist Vanessa MacLeod s childhood and teenaged years in Manawaka, Manitoba With themes ranging from the struggles of the depression to the struggles of the artist, the novel portrays the challenges of life in beautifully scripted prose Each chapter or story seems to focus on another character who has, in their own unique and often brief way, influenced the life of the pro [...]

    26. Chanté on said:

      Holy crap I did not expect to like this book, but I did It s not terribly exciting, in that the it doesn t have a wild, fantastical plot it tells the rather ordinary and sad story of a girl growing up in a small town But the detail of it just blew me away I really got a sense of being inside the girl s life and head Her thoughts and her feelings were very clear I have never come across such a detailed character before It was truly an amazing experience to read this book It did exactly what I lik [...]

    27. Barb on said:

      i loved it.Margaret Laurence has always been one of my favorite authors It was a book that i had not ever read, and there are still a few others To revisit such fine writing was refreshing Here writing is the backbone of Canada We get so caught up in the Chick lit, and fast to rise authors, that we forget what constitutes a good story, and are to easily strayed by the flash Like i commented earlier, this was a refreshing break, and revisit I plan on being a little harsher on the books i read in [...]

    28. Sandra on said:

      The most autobiographical of the Manawaka stories Protagonist is Vanessa MacLeod Interesting that these are linked stories which became popular several years later A different pace again from that in A Jest of God, The Fire Dwellers and The Diviners but a number of connections bind this book to the others tightly the Camerons, Piquette, Simlow s Ladies Wear Morag worked there , the book The Clans and Tartans of Scotland by Henry Pearl who was the father of the man Skinner lived with while going [...]

    29. Sara on said:

      This book was a completely random purchase at the Brattle used book store I mean, I don t even like short stories I enjoyed these a lot though, maybe because the same main characters were used throughout, so even though the stories were just vignettes, you still got a sense of, and cared about, the people Reminiscent of other Canadian writers who seem to have an interesting and nuanced perspective of women s lives Alice Munro, Carol Shields I will definitely read of her writing.

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