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Wild Geese [Mass Market Paperback]

Martha Ostenso , David Arnason
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1989 New Canadian library
Wild Geese caused a sensation when it was first published in 1925. To a generation bred on sentimental escapist literature, the idea of a heroine as wild as a bronco and as fiery as a tigress was nothing short of revolutionary. In the character of Judith Gare, Martha Ostenso had painted so naked and uncompromising a portrait of human passion and need that it crossed all bounds of propriety and convention.

Today, Wild Geese is widely recognized as a milestone in the development of modern realist fiction. Set on the windswept prairies, it is a story of love and tyranny, of destruction and survival, told with vigour and lyric beauty. It is also a poignant evocation of loneliness, which, like the call of the wild geese, is beyond human warmth, beyond tragedy, “an endless quest.”

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“A brilliant study of human cruelty and human love…the atmosphere of the northern Canadian prairie is powerfully portrayed.”
Windsor Star

From the Back Cover

“A brilliant study of human cruelty and human love…the atmosphere of the northern Canadian prairie is powerfully portrayed.”
Windsor Star

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Canada's Willa Cather. Dec 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1925, Martha Ostenso was a young student enrolled in a writing course at New York's Columbia University. Upon hearing that the publishers Dodd, Mead, and Company were holding a contest for the best North American novel she decided to return to Winnipeg Manitoba and devote herself to winning the prize. From her rented room, she completed the draft of Wild Geese in a mere six weeks. Her submission beat out 1,389 competitors to win, and became her first of many published novels.
Wild Geese is the story of the Gares, a very secluded rural family that is presided over by the tyrrannical father/husband Caleb Gare. He subjects them to what can only be described as daily slavery... fiercely suppressing anything that does not contribute to his maniacal tilling of the land. Because of Caleb's selfish need for constant control and domination of others, freedom of expression is not allowed in the Gare household. But this does not set well at all for his fiery tigress of a daughter (Judith) and their live-in schoolteacher Lind Archer. Together, these two women represent the hope of passion, the power of beauty, and the occasional whiff of perfume amidst the manure of Caleb's machinations. Will he be able to ultimately thwart his daughter's freedom? Will Caleb be able to destroy Lind's lover with the terrible secret that only he and his wife know about? Not until the VERY last pages do we really know the answers to those questions, and Ostenso does a great job of keeping the reader interested up to that point and beyond.
She is very much in the style of Willa Cather who also wrote of the windswept plains of the early 1900's. If you enjoy Cather's well-known "O Pioneers" or "My Antonia" I think you will really enjoy Wild Geese.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A study of human cruelty and human love. Nov. 17 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It takes a while to get into this book. I had to read it for grade 11 history. It's not that great, but you find yourself empathizing with the characters Lind and Judith. It's a little slow at the beginning, (okay, the first 150 pages, or so), but it picks up near the end. It reminds me of a soap opera, the way the characters have their secrets, and their lives are intertwined
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4.0 out of 5 stars A true story April 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While visiting in the area that this book is from,the interlake of Manitoba,Canada,I met a few of the people who can identify the true life characters who were the models for this epic.
It is a true saga.
I found the story that more captivating for this knowledge. It delves into the human spirit especially in the harsh early years of the building of the nations.
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