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Dollybird [Paperback]

Anne Lazurko
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
Price: CDN$ 14.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2013
Winner of the WILLA Award for Historical Fiction. Shortlisted for the SaskPower Fiction Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards 2014. In 1906, Twenty-year-old Moira, banished to Saskatchewan because of her unwed pregnancy, must come to terms with her pioneer environment, her dodgy new acquaintances and her employment as a "dolly-bird" with a volatile young homesteader. Scattered through with birth, death, and the violent potential of both man and the elements, Dollybird excavates the small mercies which come to mean more than they should on a prairie peopled with characters struggling under a huge sky that waits, not so quietly, for them to fail.

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Product Description

About the Author

Anne is a graduate of the Humber School of Writing whose work has been included in the anthology Fast Forward: New Saskatchewan Poets. Dollybird is her first book. Saskatchewan born and raised, Anne Lazurko has a political science degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and works as a freelance writer and a farmer. She lives with her family in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoned with Love Aug. 22 2013
Dollybird is a page-turner.

Every character is fully realized, crippled by pains specific and universal. The writing is shot with poetry, even the landscape is rendered harsh and graceful in the same moment. Author Anne Lazurko handles time as elegantly as she manages plot. Movement is seamless; I believed the motivations of the characters: Moira's intelligent sense of injustice; Dillan's stubborn blindness to his own failings. Their triumphs are hard-won and convincing. I loved little Casey; I despised the evil Gabe. I hoped that the pioneer Silas might marry Moira's visiting sister Aileen. Such a cast of characters - everyone steps off the page, even those we only catch a glimpse of.

History backlights every line; Lazurko's research paid off. I trusted, I learned, I was transported to southern Saskatchewan during the rough days of early settlement. I have no doubt that it was hard to write a novel without sentimentality but Lazurko achieves a level of objectivity that makes space for the reader.

Dollybird covered me in dust and mud; the pages are intoned with every kind of love: the absent, the lost, the yearning, the found.

Read Dollybird.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took me back in time Dec 6 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Over 100 years vanished as I imagined life from a pioneer's perspective,considering all the different circumstances that brought people together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Sept. 23 2013
By Lisa
I found the characters very engaging. I could see how they changed and grew as the novel progressed, and it was completely realistic to me.

I've been in a bit of a reading slump this summer - trying to get through some heavy books, and busy with other things. But this book is exactly what I needed to kick start my fall reading. The plot sucked me right in - I burned through the last 100 pages in one evening. I think I finished the entire book in three or four days. I'm normally a slow reader, so that's a good clip for me.

It was also clear Anne did her research. The details about medicine (or lack of) at the turn of the 20th century made the characters and plot more credible. Also many good details about the setting (Ibsen and area, which was near Moose Jaw/Weyburn).

A wonderful piece of historical fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Dollybird will settle in your heart Aug. 16 2013
Dollybird by Anne Lazurko provides a great story about what I’ve often wondered: How did our ancestors ever survive the elements in the early 1900s?
She not only shows the hardship with a light hand but with enough information to trick our imagination into shivering with the cold, huddling against a tornado or sweltering in the heat.
Lazurko also delves into reasons why people left their homes to move to a new land with the great hopes of new beginnings. For Dillan it was a chance for him and his son. For Moira it was banishment.
Lazurko also gives us a strong woman in Moira. A woman who thought she understood her world but had a great deal to learn. And learn she does. She carries on and fights for what she needs, sometimes naively and other times with cunning and knowledge.
When we follow Moira and Dillan’s story we innocently assume that we can guess the ending. A master storyteller keeps us in suspense up to the last page.
Find a quiet place and go back in time and discover where our ancestors’ strength came from to open this great prairie land of Saskatchewan, Canada.
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