|Student of Weather, a (2001) [Novel]|
by Elizabeth Hay
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(From the publisher):
From the publisher
A Student of Weather
is a brilliant first novel by acclaimed storywriter Elizabeth Hay. Already a best seller in Canada, it tells the story of the rivalry between two contrasting sisters and of the stranger who changes both their lives forever. Spanning thirty years, it opens in the Prairie Dust Bowl of the 1930s and, later, in the decades following the war, moves back and forth between Ottawa and New York City.
Maurice Dove is a visitor to the Saskatchewan farm of widower Ernest Hardy. The relationship he forms with Hardy's daughters—the beautiful, virtuous Lucinda and the dark, intelligent, younger Norma–Joyce—gives rise to an act of betrayal that throws into relief the deep–rooted enmity between them. Norma–Joyce's life, from the time she is eight, is fuelled by her obsessive (and unrequited) love for Maurice Dove. Later, in pursuing her life as an artist, she makes discoveries about her past that bring the story full–circle.
Hay's evocation of place is palpable, vivid; her characters at once eccentric and familiar. Norma–Joyce, once a strange, dark, self–possessed child, becomes a woman who learns something of self–forgiveness and of the redemptive power of art. Hay's writing is spare yet richly textured, dark and erotic. The physical and emotional landscapes she portrays evoke tragic and comic surprises, and teach us about the lasting imprint of first love.
Original title: A Student of Weather
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Midlife Crises, Journeys Of Discovery