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Home Schooling [Paperback]

Carol Windley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, July 4 2006 --  
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Book Description

July 4 2006
From the acclaimed author of Visible Light comes a collection of seven outstanding stories, each set against the rural landscape of Vancouver Island and the cities of the Pacific Northwest. In these stories the memories and dreams of characters are examined, revealing them to be both cages and keys to the cages.

The life-lessons learned by the characters are often as complicated and painful as they are illuminating. In the title story, two sisters fall in love with their math tutor on one of the Gulf Islands, inhabited equally by the ghosts of the misfits and Hollywood stars who came to live there, and the children of an alternative school, run by the girls' criminally optimistic father. In "Sand and Frost," a young girl drops out of UBC, returns home, and discovers that her domineering grandmother is the sole survivor of a shocking act of family violence. In "What Saffi Knows," a child, unable to explain to her self-involved parents, struggles with the knowledge of the whereabouts of another missing child. In these remarkable seven stories, Carol Windley creates a sense of place and of people that breathe the cool wet air of a spring morning on Gabriola Island.

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Review

"Home Schooling is nothing short of an exceptional collection of beautiiful words and resonant insights. Evey single story is worthy of reading, and once read, returned to, whether for ambience or intelligence of thought and language. Carol Windley's gift with narrative and images gives truly inspired meaning to the phrase 'creative writing.'" -- The Globe and Mail (The Globe and Mail)

"Home Schooling is nothing short of an exceptional collection of beautiiful words and resonant insights. Evey single story is worthy of reading, and once read, returned to, whether for ambience or intelligence of thought and language. Carol Windley's gift with narrative and images gives truly inspired meaning to the phrase 'creative writing.'" -- The Globe and Mail

From the Back Cover

This much-anticipated second collection of short stories by Carol Windley capters the shimmering, mutable light of the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island, wher a diverse and unforgetable group of caharacters confront sorrows and triumphs.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true example of writing as art-form Sept. 27 2006
Format:Paperback
Having just finished Carol Windley's Home Schooling I am over-flowing with enthusiasm for this collection of 8 short stories.

I don't normally read short stories, they tend to feel very conscious of their limited space, and the characters are often empty names on pages to me. Home Schooling is nothing like that. Each story offers up, in beautiful, lyrical prose, intense details about the characters, their pasts, their issues, their relationships, yet nothing is crammed, none of the stories are full of junk - there's not a single wasted or irrelevant sentence.

There are common elements running through these stories - death and, in the least melodramatic sense, rebirth; love and loss; the transient essence of the landscape and the people occupying its space.

My favourite story? Too difficult. I loved "Home Schooling", where the landscape, so vividly portrayed, reminded me a little of the wild moors in Wuthering Heights. Annabel sees the ghosts of previous occupants, the two sisters, Jane and Freddy, who used to live in their big old house-come-school, and a famous actress, and imagines them conversing with each other, having tea together, giving advice.

I enjoyed "Felt Skies" for the minor character of Dr. Bergius, a lonely man who looks like Freud, who finally escapes medicine for his dream of owning a radio station. He hovers by Rachel's desk, chats up her mum, and reminisces about his own Mother and now-deceased wife Eva. Each character in these stories, whether likeable or not, is fully realised, with insights coming from the central characters' knowledge as well as through the characters themselves, as they betray their human traits.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect formula Feb. 8 2009
By Avid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After studying literature for four years and reading hundreds of short stories, I found Windley's Home Schooling to be the most current, articulate, and exciting collection in Canadian Lit.

Her wording sparse. . . the moods created with precision. . . the characters hauntingly and beautifully portrayed. . . you will want to continue to re-read these stories and peel back the layers as you continue to discover the deeper psychologies Windley recreates within the human mind.

Something so raw and so human. . . so timely in our fragmented and seemingly disillusioned world. . . Home Schooling sums up a generation much like the Wasteland does for Eliot's lost generation.

Sit by the fire. . . or on your patio. . . and enjoy this collection many times through. You'll find yourself lending it to everyone you speak with, just so you can continue discussing beyond the last page!
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning read June 9 2009
By Mrs. Katharine Wright - Published on Amazon.com
A very interesting and enjoyable collection of short stories depicting family relationships in western Canada. It certainly earned its prizewinning status.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and haunting April 10 2009
By M. Simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The stories in this collection are exquisitely written and haunting. Think Tillie Olson with a touch of Alice Seibold...character-driven pieces in unusual settings. Truly beautiful.
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