Book - 2009
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Winner of Canada Reads 2013 and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns on the rig. It begins in the present-day, more than twenty-five years later, but spirals back again and again to the "February" that persists in Helen's mind and heart.

Writing at the peak of her form, her steadfast refusal to sentimentalize coupled with an almost shocking ability to render the precise details of her characters' physical and emotional worlds, Lisa Moore gives us her strongest work yet. Here is a novel about complex love and cauterizing grief, about past and present and how memory knits them together, about a fiercely close community and its universal struggles, and finally about our need to imagine a future, no matter how fragile, before we truly come home. This is a profound, gorgeous, heart-stopping work from one of our best writers.

Publisher: Toronto : Anansi, c2009
ISBN: 9780887842023
Branch Call Number: MOO
Characteristics: 310 p. ;,22 cm


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Dec 08, 2018

Really great! Fluid read even though there are several windows of time the story occurs in. Another great NL writer!

Aug 24, 2017

Wonderfully written

Jul 28, 2016

Another good Canada Reads submission. I liked it tho the flow was sometimes disrupted by lack of punctuation style. i.e. quotation marks to let you know immediately WHO was saying what. I felt it was sensitively written and was personally touched by her ongoing reflections on scenarios re: her husband's last moments alive. I guess this is what happens with sudden deaths, but hope it doesn't take 25yrs for me to stop doing the same thing.

Jun 09, 2015

This book was a winner in the annual Canada Reads book debate. It is the fictionalized story of a woman from Newfoundland who struggles to raise a family after the death of her husband in the Ocean Ranger disaster. A heart-felt story.

Feb 20, 2015

This is a very interesting book. The way it moves from one time frame to another makes it a bit more of a challenge to read but I found that to be a good thing. I also really liked how a)the family was so realistic - supportive of one another, not perfect but also not destructive and b) the main character remembers her late husband with happiness, despite the fact she's having so much difficulty moving on with her life. I recommend it.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

When the oil rig 'Ocean Ranger' went down off the coast of Newfoundland in February 1982, it left 84 families in mourning. The woman in this story represents so many of those women who were left behind with young families to raise, very little money and the heartbreak of loss. Helen looks back on her life after the death of her husband Cal and finds herself in her fifties still longing for more than just memories, children and grandchildren. 'You needed a strong memory to love the dead, and it was not her fault that she was failing.' She hires a carpenter and starts to renovate her old house and finds herself falling in love.

Sep 06, 2014

Advocate for e-book purchases at SPL so people who cannot read small print can also enjoy these authors.

Jan 12, 2014

Moore tackles a slice of life with poignancy and delicate emotion. I really enjoyed the seamless passages through time which help build the story, the characters and the reasons behind Helen's choices and John's dilemma. It created an energy and a rhythm which drew in the reader despite the relative lack of action.

Whereas the theme of the shipwreck is dealt with a lot of compassion as is Helen's ability to survive and raise her children, I was a little annoyed by Helen's inertia when came time to really build her life. She seemed trapped in time and I found it curious that it took her some 30 years to move on - not necessarily to remarry but simply to accept what had happened. The end, full of hope and renewal, is a lovely way to break that cycle, but I would have liked to see less lingering on Cal.

Overall, a touching and heartwarming novel.

Nov 26, 2013

This wonderful writer must be read in small doses - one book a year. This book is heavy, depressing at times for sure. I had trouble finishing it. I really enjoy and appreciate Moore's use of language, especially her descriptions of small physical things. Lovely. This book cannot be rated with a single rating: too many dimensions to consider.

Sep 05, 2013

boring it is terrible and its the worse book ever

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Feb 20, 2015

MurielW thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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