A Student of Weather

A Student of Weather

Book - 2000
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From some accidents of love and weather we never quite recover. At the worst of the Prairie dust bowl of the 1930s, a young man appears out of a blizzard and forever alters the lives of two sisters. There is the beautiful, fastidious Lucinda, and the tricky and tenacious Norma Joyce, at first a strange, self-possessed child, later a woman who learns something of self-forgiveness and of the redemptive nature of art. Their rivalry sets the stage for all that follows in a narrative spanning over thirty years, beginning in Saskatchewan and moving, in the decades following the war, to Ottawa and New York City. Disarming, vividly told, unforgettable, this is a story about the mistakes we make that never go away, about how the things we want to keep vanish and the things we want to lose return to haunt us.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2000
ISBN: 9780771037894
0771037899
Branch Call Number: FIC Hay 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 368 p

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 16, 2014

Hay has brilliantly used weather in all its glory and devastation as a backdrop to the love that two very different sisters, one so reserved and beautiful, the other boldly tenacious but plain, have for one charming and unreliable man. He enters their life in a prairie storm, stirring up emotions that will weather many years of rivalry, heartache and forgiveness.

e
emilysteeves
Oct 20, 2011

An imperfect, but poetic love story, compelling characters and beautiful setting.

s
sharon711
Sep 20, 2010

A child falls in love with a man, and the man is seduced by the intensity he has generated. Then his attention shifts to something else. End of story.

So Hays describes her mesmerizing tale of Maurice Dove and his cataclysmic but accidental effect on the women he meets. We see Dove through the eyes of Norma Joyce, his most passionate admirer, who was first smitten at 8 years old—and never fully recovered.

The story shifts over 40 years from Saskatchewan to Ottawa and New York, imparting a vivid sense of place. Postwar Ottawa comes to life.

m
memartel
Feb 07, 2010

did not like at all, did not finish

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JMJourney
Mar 13, 2012

Canadian author Hay's first novel begins on a Depression-era farm in Saskatchewan. The Hardy sisters, Norma Joyce and Lucinda, live with their widowed father. The sisters are opposites in appearance and in their approach to life. Norma Joyce, the dark, homely sister, is full of intellectual curiosity with artistic abilities, while Lucinda, older, blonde, and beautiful, is quiet and domestic. Thus, in some ways, they are natural rivals. When both fall in love with Maurice Dove, a student who stays with the family to study weather patterns, this unrecognized rivalry leads to mutual betrayals and a sad lack of family affection and understanding that affects the quality of their lives for nearly 30 years. As the story progresses, Hay's lyric descriptions of emotions, the prairie, the weather, and other natural conditions compel the reader's attention to the last page.

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