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February Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802170706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802170705
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #609,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Maggiejean on April 15 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read February two years ago and found that for me it was just about the best story ever--a lot to do with raising children on your own--it taken place over many years and is not sentimental though the premise is catastrophic. It was the normal events of everyday life that struck me as so realistic. It made me feel I hadn't done so badly after all. I recently ordered a copy from Amazon as wanted to give it to my grown-up children and also to reread it myself. For me a wonderful read!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 19 2013
Format: Paperback
Lisa Moore's "February" is a fictional work based on a real-life tragedy: On the evening of Valentine's Day 1982, the Ocean Ranger, an oil rig off the Newfoundland coast, sustained catastrophic damage in a winter storm and throughout the night and into the next day, slowly sank, killing all 84 men aboard. Moore has taken this event as the starting point in the tale of Helen, the widow of one of the men who died that night; at the time, she had three children ranging in age from 10 to 8, and she was pregnant with another child, so that in the following years, she had four children to raise on her own. The story ranges between the time of her marriage to Cal in 1972 up through 2009, and essentially tells the story of her life and how she does, and does not, come to terms with her husband's death and her grief.... The story is very specific to this one individual, but in such a way that the reader finds global resonance with the characters and what they go through. Anybody who has ever lost a loved one will relate to this book, and Moore's ability to describe complex and difficult emotions with both clarity and poetry is terrific. The story is not told in linear form, but jumps back and forth between various years, and that technique also works well in terms of drawing the reader into Helen's life; by the time the disaster itself is described, one is fully invested in Helen's reactions to it. This book won the 2013 Canada Reads challenge, an annual project from CBC that aims to have all of English-speaking Canada read one specific book; highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Noreen Dwyer on Jan. 23 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prior to reading Moore'e novel, I read the non-fiction account of the Ocean Ranger disaster which helped immensely. Moore immersed Helen and her family into that setting and she realistically unfolded the challenging life that resulted because of it. Moore allowed me to travel with Helen and her family through their varied challenges. Naturally Helen's challenges were central but John's, Cathy's, Lulu's and Gabrielle's had to be appreciated to understand fully the horrid effects of the Ocean Ranger disaster on one family .

On another level, this novel could be greatly appreciated by any widow who lost her partner when her children were still very young. Moore's handling of that situation was carried through well.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By V Woolf on Oct. 23 2009
Format: Hardcover
I find this Moore's most compelling book yet. I've loved her short stories, her voice, her compassion, wit and humour. She's a writer's writer, and her language is fully alive. This new novel is just stunning, a heart-breaker, wise and very wonderful. Why on earth didn't this receive every prize there is? Wasn't even short listed for the GG, Giller, to my knowledge. Read this book. It will make your life better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 8 2013
Format: Paperback
"...it enters the system slowly and you can become addicted. It's not an addiction, it is a craft."

On Valentine's Day 1982, the 'Ocean Ranger', an assumed-to-be unsinkable oil rig, sank during a vicious storm out in the North Atlantic. Thirty years later the tragic events of that night still resonate deeply with the affected communities of Newfoundland. Families lost fathers, brothers, sons and lovers during a night when hope and prayers for a miracle turned into despair and grief: all eighty four crew were lost, either on board or in the ice cold water. Newfoundland award winning author, Lisa Moore's 2009 novel FEBRUARY fictionalizes the deep physical and emotional shockwaves in the aftermath of the disaster by telling the story of one widow, her profound grief and the long-lasting scars on her soul while putting all her energy into bringing up her family and healing herself.

Lisa Moore's heroine, Helen, thirty at the time of the disaster, was robbed of her husband Cal, the love of her young life, the breadwinner for their young family with three small children with a fourth on the way. Much of the story is set in 2008, yet with Helen's mind often wandering back to that fateful night in 1982, the innocent years prior to the disaster and the many years since. Helen reflects on her emotional state of mind at the time as "being outside": "The best way to describe what she felt: She was banished. Banished from everyone and from herself." Still, the daily life had to go on while grief and pain were kept locked into the inner folds of her mind. "Helen wanted the children to think that she was on the inside, with them. The outside was an ugly truth that she planned to keep to herself.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Paolo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 13 2011
Format: Paperback
On 15th February 1982 an offshore rig, the Ocean Ranger, whilst drilling an exploration well off the east coast of Newfoundland, sank in bad weather killing all 84 crew aboard. Their mayday call was picked up by the back-up vessel the Seaforth Highlander who were ill-prepared to deal with a rescue in such weather conditions and in the end they were left to watch the crew in the water succumb to hypothermia and drown.

In February 1982 Cal, the husband of Helen the main and unlikely protagonist of the novel, is aboard the Ocean Ranger. Helen has three children and is pregnant with a fourth at the time of the accident and as the story bounces backwards and forwards in time one soon grasps that there are three narrative threads in play. The first is of Helen's grief, contemporaneous with the accident and in the decades that follow. How she has to raise four children by herself and how she tries to learn every little detail about the sinking of the rig; she likes to imagine Cal playing cards when the Ocean Ranger goes down, she doesn't like to think of him knowing too long before and have to suffer the panic. Helen is also persuaded by her sister to renovate her house and the stirring of her physical and emotional desires by the continuing presence of Barry, Helen's carpenter forms the second thread.

Finally her son John followed Cal's footsteps into the oil industry first by working in the pipelines looking for weaknesses that could lead to leaks. John soon moves into a job as an advisor to the industry whose main role is to increase efficiency by making recommendations to discard unnecessary or redundant safety procedures, many of which came into force following the sinking of the Ocean Ranger.
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