The Way the Crow Flies
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In her highly anticipated new novel, Ann-Marie MacDonald takes us back to a postwar world. For Madeleine McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family's posting to a quiet air force base near the Canadian-American border is at first welcome, secure as she is in the love of her family and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The early sixties, a time of optimism infused with the excitement of the space race and overshadowed by the menace of the Cold War, is filtered through the rich imagination of a child as Madeleine draws us into her world. But the base is host to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froehlich family, and the odd Mr. March, whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry. Then tragedy strikes, and a very local murder intersects with global forces, binding the participants for life. As the tension in the McCarthys' household builds, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality -- a lesson that will become clear only when the quest for the truth, and the killer, is renewed twenty years later. The Way the Crow Flies is a novel that is as compelling as it is rich. With her unerring eye for the whimsical, the absurd, and the quintessentially human, Ann-Marie MacDonald stunningly evokes the pain, confusion, and humor of childhood in a perilous adult world. At once a loving portrayal and indictment of an era, The Way the Crow Flies is a work of great heart and soaring intelligence.
the dirt roads that criss-cross the county. The vibrations from the handles of the wheelchair travel up his arms. He can smell Elizabeth’s hair, freshly shampooed. Rick knows she is smiling. Rex trots in front, his tongue slipping to one side—Rick will stop in a minute and give him a drink, it’s too hot for a fur coat today. He turns onto Highway 4 where it veers east a couple of miles from the station—he will enjoy the jet-smooth pavement for a hundred yards or so, then find another back road
the passing lane. Jack keeps his eyes on the road. What is more natural—to glance at the passing driver? Or to keep his eyes forward? His face feels like a beacon. The cruiser takes forever to pass—is the cop on his radio right now? Finally it pulls past Jack, steadily gathering speed, widening the distance between them. He breathes again. Welcome to Windsor. Jack heads for the waterfront. Smoke rises from the GM factory across the river in Detroit—you could almost skip a stone to it. He finds
Adventures in Wonderland WHEN MADELEINE GOT HOME last Friday night after the taping—the night the “thing” happened in her car—Christine had cooked eggplant parmigiana. Madeleine wasn’t hungry but she said, “Boy, something sure smells good.” She ate a slice and Christine ran her a scented bath. Madeleine was still fresh from her shower of a couple of hours ago, but Christine had put flower petals in the water. “Thanks, babe.” Christine handed her a glass of wine and began gently,
high school/my boyfriend’s sister, maybe you know her.” Photos are produced from wallets and purses; Madeleine never fails to be amazed at the total lack of physical resemblance, and she never fails to smile and say, “Wow, that’s amazing.” Madeleine is familiar. Maybe that’s why she gets away with so much. Why the audience is willing to follow her so far from home. Why there seem to be so many of her. While she fears there may be none at all. Pied Piper without a pipe. Nina balances a smooth
laughs, because no one, including Madeleine, knows what alliteration is. Mr. March says, “We have a wit amongst us.” Madeleine is mortified, but also relieved because Mr. March seems to have forgotten what he asked her in the first place. He continues handing out the blue textbooks—Living with Arithmetic, which makes it sound like a disease, which it is. Madeleine peeks inside. Sure enough, the enticing drawings, intriguing juxtapositions of rifles and cakes, cars and hats. “Into how many sets