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I would rather poke my eyes out with a rusty needle than read this again. This wonderful book was such a surprise to me It was assigned reading in a university Canadian literature course, and although my friends disliked it, I loved it The bleak prairie town in which the pastor and his wife settle, the emotionally distant pastor, his pent up wife, the disapproving townspeople they all appealed to the inner desire I have to see what it would be like to live in the middle of the prairies, bleak in winter, hay filled in summer It was written with imagination and passion and, I suspect, with someone raised within strict confines One of my very favourite books. Not a book that most adolescents would enjoy, but my favourite Canadian novel An overlooked classic that deserves attention internationally Yes, it s bleak, but it s gloriously bleak. What can I say, Ross s writing is absolutely amazing The character of Mrs.Bentley is one of the most complex, layered and interesting I ve seen in a long while Oh Mrs.Bentley, I still don t know what to make of you after having finished this book.The novel is set in the prairies during the depression and written in diary entries from her point of view.She is certainly not a reliable narrator, but at the same time, she has moments of such lucidity that it makes you wonder if she s really just deceiving herself That as she says in the beginning that she is putting up a false front, not just to the town or us the reader, but to herself as well The very ideas she puts up are a cover for things she dare not admit even to herself, because she feels that her very being is at stake That which she knows and what she claims to know but has no way of accessing and tries to omit, will somehow not exist should she not acknowledge it I do feel sorry for Philip, but not in that he s married to that woman He chose and continues to choose to be with her view spoiler Rather it is in his realizations, revealed through the story in his artwork, that he is like the horses he paints his name means lover of horses then his resignation in the end to continue to be tied like those horses together to his wife Even though that being tied together may mean that he has to give in and become like the cattle last work shown in the book plodding through the snow towards a distant home Definitely a foreboding concept, especially with what is revealed about Mrs.Bentley spoilerAnyways, I really enjoyed this one even though many of my friends did not However, I can not leave without putting in this quote, because in the context of the narrative, it was one of the most beautiful and profoundly moving passages I have ever read May 30th entry Pg 91 then I went sentimental for a minute, and he let me I didn t know anything like that could happen to me It was as if once, twelve years ago, I had heard the beginning of a piece of music, and then a door had closed But within me, in my mind and blood, the music had kept on, and when at last they opened the door again I was at the right place, had held the rhythm all the way hide spoiler [ READ EPUB ] ♿ As for Me and My House ♋ It S An Immense Night Out There, Wheeling And Windy The Lights On The Street And In The Houses Against The Black Wetness, Little Unilluminating Glints That Might Be Painted On It The Town Seems Huddled Together, Cowering On A High Tiny Perch, Afraid To Move Lest It Topple Into The Wind The Town Is Horizon, The Setting Of Sinclair Ross Brilliant Classic Study Of Life In The Depression Era Hailed By Critics As One Of Canada S Great Novels, As For Me And My House Takes The Form Of A Journal The Unnamed Diarist, One Of The Most Complex And Arresting Characters In Contemporary Fiction, Explores The Bittersweet Nature Of Human Relationships, Of The Unspoken Bonds That Tie People Together, And The Undercurrents Of Feeling That Often Tear Them Apart Her Chronicle Creates An Intense Atmosphere, Rich With Observed Detail And Natural Imagery As For Me And My House Is A Landmark Work It Is Essential Reading For Anyone Who Seeks To Understand The Scope And Power Of The Canadian Novel
Upon reflection I have decided to bump up to a full 5 stars, YAY This is a 1.00 a.m review so..First off let me say that I am just shocked by the depth of which the MC is written by.It s a female lead and her personality is one that you mostly see the extreme version of in today s literature arts, not so much in past ones It s the same shock I got when I read East of Eden and encountered a certain character that displayed characteristics that I honestly thought just become prevalent now There s a part of your brain that just goes, Whoa, that was there even back then This book doesn t really have a plot nor is it a character driven book In fact, nothing much happens other then ordinary life events well ordinary for the 30 s during the depression The book is literally a women recording the events of her life for around a year and yet it tells so much.Such a flawed unreliable narrator and we never even learn her name which makes sense as this book is technically her diary so why would she mention her name But the lack of inputting a name reveals something else too This diary should probably be rewritten as, An Ode of Phillip In other words, the unnamed wife of the Pastor Phillip dedicates her entire world to her husband Yet it s not spousal obedience, it s obsession The Mrs has revolved her entire life and purpose around him He is the centre of her focus She wants his attention and affection Yet it s not portrayed in a creepy I must have you way It s very subtle and mostly revealed in her diary There is a part of her that wants his attention A part that wants to control him and a part that fears him a little She is in no way a reliable narrator You cannot take what she sees and thinks as what actual happened And yet, although she is happy trying to vie for him she is fully aware that it will probably never be a game she wins She is fully aware of her obsession and knows it s not good nor right She is fully aware that her husband does not and will not include her in his life After all she is a women, she would never be included in her husbands private fears She knows all this She hates it but knows that nothing she can do will get him to change Rather, she does her best to create a world for him to come to when his breaks down MC is also one of artistic temperament She often laments upon her decision to give up her career as a pianist She had the skills yet gave it all up for her husband Now, there is the sense of artistic failure that always pops up whenever she breaks down In a way, this obsession for him may be something that all wives during the 30 s felt The need to have their existence validated Their need to please others in hopes of having someone return the favour.Overall, she is a very interesting character and I am amazed by the level of depth Ross went into her especially considering it was in the 40 s 50 s when he wrote this book.Moving on to Phillip Based on what I told you about him from his wife s POV you might hate him Yet, he is not entirely to be hated He had a rough upbringing that always placed him on the outside of society, never to be included and he carries that grudge against the people with him and lets it taint everything and one around him He is also a pastor who does not believe in god He hates this hypocrisy but he has no other options in his opinion It constantly plagues him and he is always trying to put up walls to keep people from finding out He hates his dependence on the Church but again, feels like he had no other options Like his wife, he too is one of artistic temperament He is obsessed with painting So much obsession that he has developed artist block for quiet some time now He is by nature distant from people He spends all his free time in his study He never physically, verbally, emotionally, or, mentally abuses his wife but his distance from her is destroying her but he doesn t know it or chooses to ignore it It s kind of like two people who cannot stand each other yet also know that they are dependent on each other There is a constant air of strain amplified by the house they live in and the stress of depression It vocalizes then is said It s kind of hard to point in words what this book is about because it s definitely something that needs to be read to be understood It s a really great book to analyze and if anyone is interested in discussing this book please feel free to send a message. I hated the mandatory high school short story The White Door by Sinclair Ross so dreary, boring and Canadian ECKIn my early twenties a colleague heard me complain about the experience thrust Sinclair s only novel into my hand and said I must read it I ve come to think the older you are the value, insights and enjoyment you get from this novel This is my second read and I m staggered to realize that on this time through I am older than the two main characters I have a far greater understanding on the nuances between a couple who ve been together for 10 years silences joy unavailability Sinclair s language and descriptions of the prairie are unique and have a dream like quality They remind me so clearly of summer camping on Alberta prairie, those wide skies And while the story is firmly grounded in desperation, solitude and a sense of hopelessness the novel doesn t drag you down The language, that complex wife husband relationship and the house itself all bring you along on their story of small town Canadian life and new horizons. As for Me and My House is a story that takes place on the Canadian Plains during the Depression A preacher s wife is the narrator and protagonist of the novel, writing her diary entries during a year in a small town of Horizon While the description of the elemental hardships and encompassing wind are beautiful, it does not redeem the novel It goes from boring, to depressing, to disappointing, to a final throw down of the book upon the table after I forced myself to read all 230 odd pages of the book I would say that if you liked My Antonia by Willia Cather, you might get out of the novel than I did I found that the woman who is never really named was weak and hollow and the husband was petulant and moody and not in the cute EMO way either.Read it if you must. I read this book originally in grade 12 with an incredible Canadian Literature teacher He made this solemn, still seeming novel into something intricate and mysterious He suggested the possibilities of Mrs Bentley as an orchestrator of all the events of the novel, he made this simple book into an extraordinary complex novel with incredible imagery, symbolism, and hidden possibilities that are not immediately obvious I read it again 2 years later at the university level, and although I m still amazed by Mrs Bentley, her role and influence within the plot seemed perhaps obvious, and also uncertain.