As for Me and My House

I am Canadian, eh!
by Sinclair Ross | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0771091044 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 7/9/2012
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, November 18, 2012
This is Number 4 in the New Canadian Library series of Canadian classics. I picked it up at a church used book sale for 25 cents. It is set on the Canadian prairies during the Depression of the 1930s. According to the information at the front of this book Sinclair Ross was still working for the Royal Bank of Canada in Winnipeg at the time this book was first published (1941).

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
McClelland and Stewart contributed a lot to the literary landscape of Canada before they were bought out by Penguin. The New Canadian Library (NCL) was just one way that they kept great Canadian writing in print at affordable prices. Between 1958 and 1978 M & S published 152 titles in the NCL line but more were added after that. Now there is no mention of the New Canadian Library on the Penguin Random House website and, as far as I know, the only way to pick up NCL titles is at used book sales. This book was No. 4 in the New Canadian Library.

This book chronicles one year in the life of a minister and his wife. Reverend and Mrs. Bentley came to Horizon (a fictitious town in Saskatchewan) on April 8 in the 1930s. The Bentleys do not have any children although they have been married twelve years. There is mention of a still birth early in the marriage but no further details of pregnancies. Horizon is right in the middle of the Dust Bowl and the church seldom gets enough offerings to pay the minister his proper salary. The Bentleys have to scrimp and save and make do. If that wasn't enough hardship Reverend Bentley, who wanted to be an artist, doesn't believe what he preaches and he resents his wife for steering him into the ministry. Mrs. Bentley, an accomplished pianist, doesn't like to play the piano for fear of disturbing her husband. So each partner has given up what they love best and their marriage suffers. Then their quiet life is turned upside down by a series of events which could be the undoing of the marriage or could breathe new life into it.

The false fronts of the Main Street stores represent the lives of the Bentleys. They pretend to be devout, god-fearing people but have no belief in the preachings of the Bible. Reverend Bentley never indicates to his wife how much he resents being forced into the ministry or even how much he misses having children. Mrs. Bentley wears old clothes and deprives herself of her music and never tells her husband how much it bothers her.

I grew up with stories of what Saskatchewan was like during "The Dirty Thirties" but Ross's portrayal of the heat and the dust almost had me choking in sympathy. Equally his descriptions of the cold and snow of winter had me shivering in my boots. This book deserves to be read by every Canadian.

Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, April 14, 2017
I am going to reserve this book for the 2017 Canada Days release challenge.

Journal Entry 4 by winggypsysmomwing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (5/10/2017 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending this book off to hyphen8 so she can read it for Canada's Sesquicentennial Reading Challenge. Hope you enjoy it!

When you find a BookCrossing book it is yours to do with what you like. You can read it and keep it or pass it on or if you don't think it is your kind of book pass it on to someone who might like it or release it in a spot for someone else to find like you just did. Whatever you choose it would be great if you could write a short note letting us know what new adventures the book is on.

Journal Entry 5 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, May 20, 2017
Arrived today - thank you gypsysmom! I've been to Canada, but only to the bookends: Vancouver (1972 and 1986 for the expo) & Niagara Falls (1977), so I haven't seen the middle. :)

Thank you for being such an enthusiastic promoter of Canadian literature: I know there's a lot of good stuff out there even if it isn't always easy to find here in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

Larger photo here.

Journal Entry 6 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Somehow it never occurred to me that the dust would form drifts (like snowdrifts) - that really brought home to me how much of it there was. From the sound of it, farming is always a gamble, but during the "dust bowl" years it had to have been particularly grim. So many of the characters in this book are living Thoreau's "lives of quiet desperation"...

I'll count this as my Saskatchewan read for my 2016-2017 Canadian reading challenge - thanks again gypsysmom!
Read so far: BC + MB + NB + ON + SK

Journal Entry 7 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (6/19/2017 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to the lucky winner of the Canadian Literature Sweepstakes.

I wouldn't call this one a "happy" read but I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

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Journal Entry 8 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, July 07, 2017
Thank you, the book is here.
I have really enjoyed Gypsysmom comments, so I am looking forward to reading it.
Thanks, hyphen8, good choice!

Journal Entry 9 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Monday, October 30, 2017
Currently reading it.

Journal Entry 10 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Sunday, December 10, 2017
Well, definitely not "a happy read", but thoroughly interesting, it kept me hooked until the end.
It took me a long time to finish it because I am in a particularly busy time of the year in terms of work... and not because I was not enjoying it!
Not a novel I would have picked myself, but I am really grateful that it reached me, because it is beautifully written, and the characters really grow on you.
Everything is told from Mrs Bentley's point of view, which leads you to wonder how biased her story can be... getting to collect a thousand dollars in order to leave the town of Horizon really becomes an obsession.
A great book; thanks for sharing this masterpiece of Canadian literature, Gypsysmom and Hyphen8... it will now return to Canada for a Sweeps winner who has it in her WishList; I really hope she will enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal Entry 11 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Monday, December 11, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (12/11/2017 UTC) at Madrid, Madrid Spain

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Finally on its way to the winner of the INTL Sweepstakes...
Sorry for taking so long... and enjoy! :)

Journal Entry 12 by wingmcsarwing at Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Thank you for picking this to send to me. I have been wanting to read this Canadian classic. I am sure it is worth the wait.

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Updated Jun 25, 2018

This Canadian classic is well worth the read. The isolation, loneliness and disillusionment of failed relationship and dreams are subtly portrayed. This slim volume has a lot of depth.

Journal Entry 13 by wingmcsarwing at by post, RABCK Sweepstakes/Drawing -- Controlled Releases on Monday, June 25, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (6/25/2018 UTC) at by post, RABCK Sweepstakes/Drawing -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

To the winner/decoy of the You've Got Mail Sweepstakes. Spotted this on your wish list. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Journal Entry 14 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, July 21, 2018
Yay! Really pleased to get this wishlist book as part of the You've Got Mail Sweeps. Thanks very much Mcsar!

Journal Entry 15 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, July 22, 2018
Just had to insert a comment about how pleased I am with this book's travels. This is such an iconic book for Canada. So it is nice that it is finding an audience in and outside of Canada.

Journal Entry 16 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, July 26, 2018
It felt sort of appropriate to be reading this while we are in the middle of a scorching heatwave. Fortunately, I don't have dust drifts to contend with! I think that the dryness and heat in the book made the story of the dysfunctional and deeply unhappy marriage even more exhausting to read about. I just couldn't see how things could get better for any of the characters. I must admit that I struggled to understand why Mrs Bentley felt that it was completely down to her to make things work and to make her husband happy. I realise the story is told from her pint of view, but her husband seemed to spend all of his time sulking and giving her the silent treatment. Grrr. Their lifestyle was a choice he had made., so surely he too could have tried to change things.
I have recently read Stoner by John Williams, about a similarly unhappy marriage, but in that one of the partners was actively vindictive, rather than just selfish.
It was great to have the chance to read this one. Thanks gypsysmom and Mcsar!

Journal Entry 17 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, November 04, 2018

Released 9 mos ago (11/3/2018 UTC) at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

And off it goes to the winner of the book, tea and chocolate sweeps. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 18 by wingbluezwuzlwing at Altdorf (Niederbayern), Bayern Germany on Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Thanks for this book - the entries suggest it to be a rewarding read. Thanks, too, for the yummy chocolate and the lemon-ginger tea - allways my favourite in times of cold and wet weather! And thanks for the postcard from the Roman Fort with your kind note!

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