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eBook A Student of Weather download

by Elizabeth Hay

eBook A Student of Weather download ISBN: 1841199281
Author: Elizabeth Hay
Publisher: Constable & Robinson Ltd (June 30, 2004)
Language: English
Pages: 344
ePub: 1449 kb
Fb2: 1224 kb
Rating: 4.6
Other formats: lit mbr rtf txt
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary

A Student of Weather book. Canadian author Elizabeth Hay has created a group of unforgetable, flawed characters.

A Student of Weather book. Acts of betrayal, passion, unrequited love, and tortured family dynamics propel the story along. The author's interest in nature shines through with beautiful descriptions of the land and the weather in this enjoyable book.

A student of weather. I have always been attracted to character-driven books. She is so much more than that. She is a poet, a lyricist, a magician and then some. The prose shimmers and glows, it stuns the mind and heart. One is immediately experiencing life in 1938 in Saskatchewan. We are instantaneously living with the family Hardy.

In the Prairie Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a stranger walks out of a storm and forever alters the lives of two sisters, the strange and intense Norma-Joyce and the beautiful Lucinda. Their rivalry for Maurice Dove, a student studying weather on the Prairies, sets the stage for a narrative spanning more than thirty years, beginning in Saskatchewan and moving, in the decades following the war, to Ottawa and New York City.

A lot of the book is about the uneasy relationship between citizens of those two provinces. Norma Joyce Hardy is Saskatchewan: mercurial, productive and yet needy. Maurice Dove is Ontario: sophisticated, confident, self-absorbed.

Elizabeth Grace Hay (born October 22, 1951) is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Her 2007 novel Late Nights on Air won the Giller Prize. Her first novel A Student of Weather (2000) was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won the CAA MOSAID Technologies Award for Fiction and the TORGI Award. She has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award twice, for her short-story collection Small Change in 1997 and her novel Garbo Laughs in 2003.

Rich in metaphor and written in lovely prose that reads almost poetically, A STUDENT OF WEATHER is an exceptional and unforgettable novel. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 18 years ago. Beginning in the "dust-bowl" era in Saskatchewan, "A Student of Weather" brings us to the home of the Hardy family. There, we meet Ernest, a bitter man and the farmer-father of the family. This book is Giller Prize–winning author Elizabeth Hay's debut novel. Some nights she still goes over every detail, beginning with the weather and proceeding to the drop of blood on the old sheet - her quick wish for a man with straight white teeth and red lips - and then his arrival. His voice outside, her hand on the coin of frostbite on his cheek, his gift of an apple. Everyone said it was eastern weather, the snow so deep and even that the carol was always in her mind, and she asked her father and sister who St. Stephen was, but as usual they didn't know.

In this celebrated novel, Elizabeth Hay tells a dark, erotic, richly textured story of obsessive love In A Student of Weather, every word counts.

In this celebrated novel, Elizabeth Hay tells a dark, erotic, richly textured story of obsessive love. In A Student of Weather, every word counts. Ottawa Citizen - 20121108 show more. by. Hay, Elizabeth, 1951-. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio). I like to write with a pen or pencil on paper. I have a rocking chair with wide arms in my second-floor study. Crossing the Snow Line. I sit in the chair, place a piece of plywood across the arms and write on that flat surface. I got the idea from reading about Virginia Woolf, who worked the same way in the grubby back of the house where they printed the books for Hogarth Press. It gives me much more peace of mind to work this way than directly in front of a computer screen.

Comments: (7)
Elizabeth Hay is both a writer's writer and a consummate reader's writer--a word-siren, language mystic, narrative shaman, and spellbinding painter of prose. In this, her first novel, she creates a ballad-like story of contrasts--truth and deception, love and rejection, light and dark, faith and betrayal.

Two sisters, living with their widowed father, are a study of opposites. Seventeen-year-old Lucinda is lovely, tall, titian-haired, pliable, hard-working, dutiful, and light; nine-year-old Norma Joyce is small, dark, complicated, rebellious, passionate, odd-looking, and sullenly intelligent.

"She [Norma Joyce] was foliage in the wrong place, a jumble of weeds growing out of someone's back."

Beginning on a farm in the Prairie Dust Bowl of 1930's Canada, the story spans thirty years and takes the reader on a looping journey to Saskatchewan, Ottawa, and New York. The farm that Ernest Hardy lives on with his two daughters in Saskatchewan is the oasis in the drought, "a spot of dew in a dry field, a small hill that attracted rain and snow when nothing fell anywhere else."

The Hardy farm is single magnet for moisture in this bone-dry, punishing, skin-splitting, dust-laden community.

"...dust blew the paint off cars, settled on food while you ate, landed in your mouth while you slept, choked cattle in the fields, and muffled the calls of lost children. So much dust blown so far that it landed on ships in the middle of the Atlantic."

A handsome stranger would arrest the girls' hearts, driving one of them to obsession. Stepping out of a blizzard and into their lives is the handsome, prepossessing Maurice Dove, an Ottawa student studying weather and botany. He lodges with the Hardys on three separate occasions in one year, enchanting Lucinda, bewitching and educating Norma Joyce with his comprehensive knowledge of nature.

Lucinda's maternal nature blossomed in Maurice's presence. She cooked and cleaned with an almost Gertrudian fervor, tucking away dreams like the corners of sheets.

"By the time Maurice was ready to leave, Lucinda would be interested. This was her pattern: tugging carefully at every knot, pressing the wrapping paper flat, saving everything for future use, including her own anticipation."

But Norma Joyce has already reached out to touch his cheek and claim him immediately, believing that boldness counts for more than beauty. She's the shadow girl, the dark side of the moon. She thinks that stealthy intrusions will draw him closer. Maurice indulges in Lucinda's beauty and moist sponge cakes, while he instructs Norma Joyce in climate and history, acknowledging that she is a natural, gifted student.

Hay's metaphorical raveling of landscape and psyche is nothing short of phenomenal. The narrative winds its way through the inner and outer wilderness of the Hardy's lives as the story deepens into the musk and mead of their quiddity.

"Maybe Lucinda's beauty captivated the rain. Or--this thought occurred to him later--maybe the dark, unpredictable sister was the source of all the weather."

There are layers to peel and subtextual strata to mine. Sexual undertones and overtones impregnate the story, a sensuous pollen permeating the prose.

"The leaf's lower part is a split sheath wrapped tightly around the stem so it won't tear in the wind...The underside of the leaves have very few pores; in dry weather they roll up like waterproof tubes to hold in every precious drop of water vapour. As beautifully engineered, he says with a wink, as Claudette Colbert's nifty legs. Slender-tipped, smooth, loose and open, lax at flowering time, puberulent."

The story builds with intensity and eroticism, invoking shattering acts of betrayal and avid, tormented love. There are grains of The Thorn Birds and Gone with the Wind, but the erudition and subtlety far eclipses either novel. Also, Hay avoids the pitfalls of melodrama and ripens the story with nuanced authenticity. She is a master of detail, describing a word or a concept with filmic transcendence, turning every seed into a flower. There are also vestiges of Possession, another book of painful, incinerating love, and botany.

This is a also companion piece to her latest novel, Alone in the Classroom. The author has recurring themes and motifs that deepen the reading experience when both books are read. The suggestion that we carry the past forward undulates through both novels, as do early childhood tragedies. The relationship between student and teacher, parent and child, and the value of education--including the study of the natural world--is explored in both tales. I won't give detailed specifics away, as the joy of discovery heightens the pleasure.

Every passage is sui generis; every page is brimming with beauty and contrast. This is an extraordinary coming of age story, a novel of survival and redemption, a tale of two sisters and three cities, an unforgettable, incomparable story of deep forbearance and clemency.

I have always been attracted to character-driven books. However, it is always the beauty of language that most engages, captivates and ultimately haunts me. To state that Elizabeth Hay is a master of language, somehow, does not suffice. She is so much more than that. She is a poet, a lyricist, a magician and then some. The prose shimmers and glows, it stuns the mind and heart.

`A Student of Weather' is an accessible read. One is immediately experiencing life in 1938 in Saskatchewan. We are instantaneously living with the family Hardy. Lucinda is approximately a decade older than Norma Joyce. Their father, Ernest Hardy, is a taciturn farmer who lives up to being both `ernest' and `hardy.' The climate is dry, and there is dust everywhere. It is gritty, and we feel the grit, we feel everything. Senses become acute to weather, to landscape, and to people, their feelings, as well as their motives.

Maurice Dove, a stranger, arrives. He charms both sisters, and trouble ensues. He lacks a moral compass.

This book, in many ways, was reminiscent of Dickens in some of its characters. For example, there are Mrs. Hulder and Mrs. Gallot. Then there is Mrs. Dove, Maurice's mother. Secondary characters though they are, they are nonetheless important.

We move from Saskatchewan to Ottawa and even experience life in New York City.

Lucinda is clearly the beautiful sister, but Norma Joyce is the interesting sister. She is many things, but she is always fascinating. She is unrelenting in her pursuits.

This is, at once, an extravagant yet economical book. It is one of the most unforgettable books that I have ever read. It contains so much beauty, tragedy, and more. This book is truly one about life, how we experience it, and how we live it.

I do not often do this, but I ordered `Alone In The Classroom' once I read approximately one-hundred pages of `A Student of Weather.' I knew that I was in the presence of an unusually talented writer.

If you like character-driven fiction that both breaks the heart and makes it sing, this is a must read.

I must thank my good Amazon friends for alerting me to this book. It was Switterbug who knew that I would fall in love with this type of literature, and I am in her debt.