The Fire-Dwellers

by Margaret Laurence | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0771091877 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 12/30/2007
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, December 30, 2007
I believe I purchased this book at the Children's Hospital Paperback book sale but its been so long ago I can't remember. This is No 87 in the McClelland and Stewart's New Canadian Library.

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 06, 2011
This book is part of Laurence's Manawaka series even though it is set in Vancouver. Stacey MacAindra is the sister of Rachel Cameron who is the heroine of A Jest of God. She got out of town, moved to Vancouver and married Mac MacAindra. They have 4 children, 14 year old Katie, Ian and Duncan (about 9 and 7?) and then 2 year old Jen. Mac is a salesman. He's sold encyclopedias, vanilla and other household products and he has just been hired on by Richalife, makers of vitamins. The time is the 1960's. According to one account I read this book is the most autobiographical of all Laurence's books. One major deviation from Laurence's life is that Stacey stays married to Mac while Laurence separated from and then divorced her husband. Of course, Laurence would have had an independent source of income from her writing whereas Stacey, like lots of women in the 60's, was entirely dependent on her husband for money. Stacey often feels like she is in prison and she thinks about getting out but with no money and no job skills and 4 kids she is stuck.

I kept thinking about my mother as I read this book. She also had 4 children to raise and I wonder how often she felt imprisoned. Maybe that's why she started teaching again or at least it might have been part of the reason. She was somewhat of an anomaly at the time but if it saved her sanity then I'm grateful she did it.

Laurence is a fine writer and I wish she had written more. I have one more book of hers to read and then I may have to start reading them over again.

Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (10/12/2011 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


I'll take this book to the meet-up tonight. If no-one takes it home it will be waiting on the OBCZ shelves for a new reader.

Journal Entry 4 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 13, 2011
This book is currently sitting on the Winnipeg Official Bookcrossing Zone bookshelf in the loft of The Park Theatre & Movie Café, 698 Osborne Street, Winnipeg MB.

It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!

Winnipeg bookcrossers meet at my location on the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm to chat about books, swap great reads, and release on the OBCZ shelves. Please join us! We love to see new faces! You will enjoy the comfy atmosphere, the fabulous coffees and teas, and the yummy treats!

Journal Entry 5 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, May 10, 2012
I thought that I had seen this book on the OBCZ shelf, pining for someone to take it home. Sure, enough it was still waiting when we all met for our monthly meeting. So I snatched it up. I intend to release it during gypsysmom's Canada Day release challenge, but I'll try to read it first. It's been a while since I've read this one but I have always loved Laurence's books, especially those in the Manawaka series. Thanks for releasing gypsysmom!

Journal Entry 6 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It is rare for me to read a book a second time. There are too many more to be read. Newer and sparklier. But of course there will not be any more new and sparkly books from this author and that makes me sad. I discovered Margaret Laurence at the same time as I discovered Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. In the late sixties and early seventies I gobbled down everything they had written up to that point. What glorious gluttony! I've continued to read my faves and it gave me heart palpitations when Alice Munro announced she was retiring a few years back. I have discovered who I am in the reading of these women's books and in many ways I have continued to "grow up" with them.

So while I would not have searched out this old book by Margaret Laurence, when it fell into my hands, I thought that I would have another visit. And a visit it was. A visit with an old friend.

When I first read this book I would have been about 20 years younger than Stacey MacAindra. I am now about 20 years older than she.

Stacey is 39 years old. She is a housewife with a grade 11 education, mother to four children, and wife to Mac, a hard-working man. She has all she thought she ever wanted, certainly everything that women were supposed to want at that time. And yet she is dissatisfied. She worries about her kids, worries about her husband, thinks she's failed all of them. She drinks too much and feels trapped. She wants out. She wants someone to love her for who she is, someone to talk to her and listen to her.

When I first read this book I was just 19, a new mother and I instantly related to Stacey through her internal conversations. I had the same kind. "Oh please God, don't let me be one of those mothers who throw their baby in the dumpster." I don't now recall whether I was conscious of the age difference between Stacey and me. I doubt that I was, for surely I would have thought then that by 39 I'd have my act together and not be so insecure. Unlike Stacey, surely by 39, I'd know how to say what I want, would have a more equal relationship with my partner, be comfortable with who I was and be defined by more than just my role as wife and mother.

To be honest, when I picked this book up a couple of days ago, I could not remember the story, but as I read it all came back to me. Visiting Stacey again was like visiting that younger me. While I am reasonably confident that my 39 year old self and my 50+ year-old self was and is not so dissatisfied as Stacey was, I know that that insecure person who bargains with God and herself still resides within me as I suspect she resides within us all.

What I found really interesting was how, as I read, not only did this book itself come flooding back into my memory, but so too did the whole Manawaka series. So not only did I visit with Stacey, I also had a good chat with Hagar, Rachel, Vanessa, Piquette and Morag. How glad I am to have known them.

Journal Entry 7 by wingPooker3wing at The Waverly Assisted Living complex in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, June 29, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (6/29/2012 UTC) at The Waverly Assisted Living complex in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


on a bench just at the entrance to the complex. A nice sunny & shady spot to read!

To the finder of this book:

I released this book into the wilds of Winnipeg as part of the annual Canada Day release challenge. BookCrossers across the country, and the world, are releasing Canadian books in celebration of our country's wealth of wonderful literature. I hope you enjoy this book. Happy Canada Day on the 1st!

And, welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of BookCrossing! Here you'll find a unique and worldwide community of book lovers sharing their books. This book is now yours! Read it, enjoy it. Keep it or pass it on to someone you know or even release it back into the wild as I did. If you make a journal entry (either anonymously or as a BookCrossing member) all previous readers of this book will be notified by e-mail and can follow this book on its travels. BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your email address) and it's a whole lot of fun!

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