Monday, April 14, 2008

Dancing At The Rascal Fair

The spine of this book and its companions in Ivan Doig's Montana trilogy have been staring at me in my parent's living room for years. I'd seen the books, have been told many times how good they are and how much I'd enjoy them, but still I never followed the advice.

While scrolling around looking for books to read, I came across the review for English Creek by Ivan Doig. Rave reviews - so I decided to take the plunge and check it out. About a quarter way into it, I came across another review that suggested reading the second book in the trilogy (Dancing at the Rascal Fair) first because it is actually written earlier chronologically (a prequel). I returned English Creek and started Dancing at the Rascal Fair. The advisors were right on, this is a wonderful book. It's set in my absolutely favorite corner of the earth, the land around Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The time frame is the late 1800s until about 1920. The narrator is Angus McCaskill, a Scottish immigrant, who comes to America and Montana to homestead. He is joined by his best friend, Rob Barclay, who has an uncle in Montana that they are sure will be the key to their success. When they finally connect with Lucas Barclay, the uncle, their saga with Montana weather, women, rivalry, economics, war and school house dances begins.

This is much along the same vein as Angle of Repose, Christy, These Is My Words except more masculine. But the story's theme is about enduring as it seems many of the great ones are.

I am very much looking forward to continuing on with English Creek and Ride With Me Mariah, Montana after that. Ivan Doig has a new fan.

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