English Creek

English Creek

Book - 2005
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In this prize-winning portrait of a time and place--Montana in the 1930s--that at once inspires and fulfills a longing for an explicable past, Ivan Doig has created one of the most captivating families in American fiction, the McCaskills.

The witty and haunting narration, a masterpiece of vernacular in the tradition of Twain, follows the events of the Two Medicine country's summer: the tide of sheep moving into the high country, the capering Fourth of July rodeo and community dance, and an end-of-August forest fire high in the Rockies that brings the book, as well as the McCaskill family's struggle within itself, to a stunning climax. It is a season of escapade as well as drama, during which fourteen-year-old Jick comes of age. Through his eyes we see those nearest and dearest to him at a turning point--"where all four of our lives made their bend"--and discover along with him his own connection to the land, to history, and to the deep-fathomed mysteries of one's kin and one's self.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2005
Edition: 1st Scribner trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780743271271
Characteristics: 339 p. : ill. ; 21 cm

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Jul 27, 2016

Lyrical, descriptive coming of age tale set in the country. Paints a vivid picture of Montana. If you liked this, it's part of a trilogy.

Dec 10, 2010

Ivan Doig writes prose that reads like poetry. One must read slowly to savor it. See page 140 & 145 for observations on dementia/aging.


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Dec 10, 2010

Year is 1939. Jick McCaskill, 14, is narrator. He is son of Variel and Beth McCaskill. Variel is a forest ranger. Other characters: Alec, older brother of Jick, his intended wife: Leona. Jick is sent with Stanley Meixell to 3 sheepherder's with supplies. Stanley is a drinker, and there is a "past" between him and the McCaskill family. Alec is working for the Double W, the Williamson ranch. The Williamson family has bought up many foreclosed and forced to sell properties. June was wet and green. July is hot and dry, a fire will happen. Jick has pithy observations on life/people, a trademark of this author.


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Dec 12, 2010

On observing a neighbor with what appears to be Parkinson's, Jick's thought: It is terrible to see, an ailment fastened onto a person and riding him day and night. I hope not to end up that way, life over and done with before existence is.


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