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Where Nests the Water Hen (1950)

por Gabrielle Roy

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1395196,208 (4.23)28
The story of Where Nests the Water Hen is as pure as the lives of the people in it – and as unforgettable. Set in the remote wilderness of northern Manitoba, this sunny, tender idyll of daily frontier life captures, as few novels ever have, the spirit and the surroundings of the pioneers – not the adventurers and trailblazers who make the headlines, but rather the humble folk who follow after and remain, living out their lives in obscurity to keep the trails open. Where Nests the Water Hen, Gabrielle Roy’s second novel, is a sensitive and sympathetic tale that captures both the innocence and the vitality of a sparsely populated frontier.… (mais)
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Mostrando 5 de 5
Set in Northern Manitoba, a quiet and evocative book. This is the only book by Gabrielle Roy I've read--she's perhaps best known for 'The Tin Flute'. I rarely see her books here in the US, but if you walk into a Canadian bookstore, you'll see a long shelf. Makes you realize how many authors we miss out on! ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
Roy's love for this remote (at least at her time) corner of Manitoba shines through this little book. She spent one summer teaching there in the 1930s and it must have made a profound impression on her.

The Tousignants lived on an island on the Little Waterhen River. M. Tousignant managed a ranch for a Rorketon businessman. They were the sole human inhabitants of the island but their number increased almost every year when Mme Tousignant had another baby. She travelled to Ste. Rose du Lac to have the child each time and she referred to this trip as her holiday. She was concerned that her children were growing up without any education. At her husband's suggestion she wrote to the Department of Education and they replied that they would pay for a teacher to come from May through October providing there were at least 6 school age children and that there was a school house. The Tousignants could provide the requisite number of children and they built the school house. As promised Mlle Côté showed up one day having taken the train to Dauphin, changed to the local train to Rorketon making sure to arrive on a Thursday so she could get a ride with the postman who travelled from Rorketon to Portage des Prés. From there she would had to journey with another postman to a spot where she could be ferried across the Big Waterhen and Little Waterhen Rivers. Under her tutelage the young Tousignants quickly learned their lessons. She made such an impression that many of the Tousignant youngsters went away to continue their education as teachers and nurses and doctors. Their mother was proud of them but missed them as well. Life on the island in the Little Waterhen River was very secluded especially in the harsh winter months. During the better summer weather there might be a few visitors. The best time was when the Capuchin monk made his annual visit to say mass and hear confession. One chapter of this book is devoted to the Capuchin monk and it is fascinating in itself.

It is amazing that less than 80 years ago life in Manitoba could be so constrained by the elements and geography. Roy did a great service to capture this time and place for all to read. ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 8, 2018 |
What a joy. Now I wish to reread it in its proper language--French. ( )
  Muzzorola | Dec 14, 2015 |
First published in 1951 as La Petite Poule d’Eau, this is Roy’s beautiful evocation of frontier life in Northern Manitoba. Partially autobiographical, the story features a young woman sent to home-school a family in a remote district of the province. Often compared to Willa Cather, Roy takes a compassionate, non-judgmental view of her characters.
1 vote vplprl | May 15, 2014 |
Obviously - only three stars - I did not like this book nearly as much as I did Roy's first novel, THE TIN FLUTE. It started out well enough, with its colorful description of life on the Manitoba muskeg frontier and the large French-Canadian brood of heroine Luzina Tousignant and her stolid workhorse husband Hippolyte. But then, about two-thirds of the way through WHERE NESTS THE WATER HEN, Roy seems to lose focus, makes a 180-degree turn, and begins to tell the story of the old itinerant Capuchin missionary priest. This abrupt change of protagonist never quite worked for me, even when Roy brings the priest finally around to the Tousignant outpost, throwing in too a flashback to earlier times in the family story. While the priest was an interesting enough character, I would have preferred to hear the rest of Luzina's story, because she was what really held it all together - or should have. While I still wouldn't hesitate to recommend THE TIN FLUTE, this second book was something of a disappointment, so I probably won't bother to read any more of Roy's stuff, famous though she may have been in Canada. ( )
  TimBazzett | Mar 9, 2012 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Gabrielle Royautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Birdsell, SandraPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roper, GordonIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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The story of Where Nests the Water Hen is as pure as the lives of the people in it – and as unforgettable. Set in the remote wilderness of northern Manitoba, this sunny, tender idyll of daily frontier life captures, as few novels ever have, the spirit and the surroundings of the pioneers – not the adventurers and trailblazers who make the headlines, but rather the humble folk who follow after and remain, living out their lives in obscurity to keep the trails open. Where Nests the Water Hen, Gabrielle Roy’s second novel, is a sensitive and sympathetic tale that captures both the innocence and the vitality of a sparsely populated frontier.

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