Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Little Shadows - Marina Endicott

Here is the eagerly anticipated new novel from a brilliant writer whose last book, Good to a Fault, was shortlisted for the prestigious Giller Prize and won the Commonwealth Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.

The Little Shadows revolves around three sisters in the world of vaudeville before and during the First World War. We follow the lives of all three in turn: Aurora, the eldest and most beautiful, who is sixteen when the book opens; thoughtful Clover, a year younger; and the youngest sister, joyous headstrong sprite Bella, who is thirteen. The girls, overseen by their fond but barely coping Mama, are forced to make their living as a singing act after the untimely death of their father. They begin with little besides youth and hope, but Marina Endicott’s genius is to show how the three girls slowly and steadily evolve into true artists even as they navigate their way to adulthood among a cast of extraordinary characters – some of them charming charlatans, some of them unpredictable eccentrics, and some of them just ordinary-seeming humans with magical gifts.

Using her gorgeous prose and extraordinary insight, Endicott lures us onto the brightly lit stage and then into the little shadows that lurk behind the curtain, and reveals how the art of vaudeville -- in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow -- echoes the art of life itself.  


A beautiful poetic novel of what the vaudeville or theatre might have been in historic western Canada and the northwest U.S.A., in particularly Montana. The story follows three girls and their mother after the death of the father as they go into the world their mother knew before she met their father.  Each scene and each character is portrayed in vivid colors, both their good attributes as well as the eccentric.  Although i don’t know much about the world of actors either then or now, it seems like the author did a lot of research to make it authentic.

Personally i found it very dry, tedious reading, with so much attention to detail, and a lot of conversations.  There really wasn’t any plot, unless you consider the everyday life of people aspiring to stardom through entertaining others a plot.

I received this novel from the publisher through Netgalley for review. I was not required to give a positive review in order to receive it, just an honest one.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011

I am a reader, not a writer, and i just want to sit here and read (both of those are names of blogs i follow, and so i won't use that as a title for my book reviews, though they both fit me to a T, and i wish i had got one of them first) However, i do want to sit down and write reviews. i have a bunch of books i have read (recieved from other blogs where i entered to win, bought books or library books) but writing doesn't come easy to me. i think on what i will write about a certain book as i'm dozing off at night, too tired to get up and write down my thoughts and by morning, i have to start all over again. But i will get to them, because they are too good not to share. Thanks for understanding. We had a rain on Wednesday that shut down combining for a few days. Yesterday was sunny, but not really warm, but the swaths might be ready to try again today. We shipped 4 super B loads of wheat to the elevator yesterday, so that was a good days job. So until next time, with love Mitzi (aka Marianne)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Diary, October 14, 2011

I know it's been a while since i posted...and wouldn't be posting this morning if we had been on the field harvesting till 1:00 a.m. either. But it's been raining the last few days. Not a lot, but enough to keep everything too wet to combine. That's not a bad thing, we do need the moisture for next year, and we have enough stuff going on that we don't sit idle even now.

We have about half of the wheat crop in the bin, which makes us about one quarter done our harvest, since we have a little less acres seeded with canola than we did of wheat. The bushels are awesome...we have never seen a yield of 70 to 80 bushels per acre on our farm before, and don't expect to in the future. We are so Thankful to God, for He it is that gives the increase.

So what are we spending our time doing? Well i've been doing a bit of much needed baking, cookies for my lunch bucket, sticky buns for just so. When it started raining, i was on my way to Manitoba. Mom's cousin there passed away and she was close to him and his family. That's a long drive from where we live now. We did a bit of visiting, going to my BFF's place. She had made a throw i bought in Tennessee into Roman Shades for my bedroom window. That's a bit awkward to ship, so was glad i could do that. In the almost two weeks since then, we've had doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, parts runs (simply picking up parts? No such luck. we've been on runs that take us on 70 mile runs just to gather them) and repairing. Doesn't sound exactly interesting, but it's what keeps our days busy.

Right now, the grain cart is down, needs some work, and the combine has a couple of bearings that are running hot. If the weather holds, and the crops dry we can run it the way it is, just keeping an eye on the problem, but likely there will be no combining until middle of next week! Farming may be a waiting on God occupation, but we keep busy all the same.

So until next time, Take care.