Whale Song

Whale Song

4.8 26
by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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Whale Song is a haunting tale of change and choice. Cheryl Kaye Tardif's beloved novel -- a "wonderful novel that will make a wonderful movie" according to Writer's Digest -- releases as a special edition with all new scenes from the much-talked-about screenplay.
Don't miss Whale Song, described as "a wise, enchanting story" by the Edmonton…  See more details below


Whale Song is a haunting tale of change and choice. Cheryl Kaye Tardif's beloved novel -- a "wonderful novel that will make a wonderful movie" according to Writer's Digest -- releases as a special edition with all new scenes from the much-talked-about screenplay.
Don't miss Whale Song, described as "a wise, enchanting story" by the Edmonton Examiner. Whale Song is a novel of dual personalities. It is both mystery novel and family drama. It is enchanting adventure and uplifting but tragic moral tale. Whale Song integrates the optimistic spiritualism of native myth and the hard realities of modern-day life.
The only witness to a tragedy loses her memory and she must search her past for the answers. Whale Song asks the difficult question, which is the higher morality -- love or law?

Editorial Reviews

"A wonderfully well-written story...wonderful characters...exquisitely described...would make a wonderful movie."
--(Writer's Digest)
Writer's Digest
A wonderfully well-written story...wonderful characters...exquisitely described...would make a wonderful movie.
The Edmonton Examiner
A wise, enchanting story...
Fresh Fiction
A tough act to follow for any written genre.

Product Details

Kunati Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)

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By Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Kunati Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Cheryl Kaye Tardif
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60164-007-9

Chapter One

IN THE SUMMER of 1977, my parents and I moved from our rambling ranch home in Wyoming to Vancouver Island, Canada. My father had been offered a position with Sea Corp, a company devoted to studying marine life. He would no longer be a marine biology professor at the university. Instead, he'd be studying killer whales and recording their vocalization.

My mother was ecstatic about the move. She couldn't wait to return to Canada where her parents were living. She chatted nonstop about all the new things we would see and do.

But I was miserable. I didn't want to move.

"You'll make new friends, Sarah," my parents told me.

But I, like most eleven-year-old girls, hated them for making me leave the friends I already had.

Since our new home was fully furnished, we were leaving almost everything behind. A few personal belongings, my mother's art supplies and some household items would follow in a small moving van.

My father told us he had rented out our ranch to a nice elderly couple. I was quite happy that no children were going to be living in my bedroom, but I was miserable about leaving behind my prized possessions. I reluctantly said goodbye to my little bed, my Bay City Rollers wall posters, my bookshelf of Nancy Drew mysteries, my mismatched dresser and my swimming trophies. Then I sulked on the edge of thebed and watched my mother sift through my things.

"I know it's hard," she said, catching my sullen mood. "Think of this as an adventure."

I let out an angry huff and flopped onto my back.

"I don't want an adventure."

THE FOLLOWING MORNING, we left Wyoming with my three-speed bike strapped to the roof of the car and our suitcases and my mother's easel piled in the trunk. That night, I watched TV in a motel room while my parents talked about our new home in Canada.

"Time for bed, Sarah," my father said after a while. "We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

Unable to sleep, I tossed restlessly in the bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering what life would be like stuck on a tiny island.

How boring it's going to be.

I thought of Amber-Lynn MacDonald, my best friend back in Wyoming. She was probably crying her eyes out, missing me. Who was I going to tell all my secrets to now?

I swallowed hard, fighting back the tears.

Life is so unfair.

Little did I know just how unfair life could be.

IT FELT LIKE days later when we finally arrived in Vancouver. We drove to the ferry terminal and waited in a long lineup of vehicles. We boarded the ferry and I rushed to the upper deck where I stood against the rails and watched the mainland disappear. The water was choppy and the ferry swayed side to side. When we saw Vancouver Island approaching, dismal gray clouds greeted us and I instantly missed the scorching dry heat of Wyoming.

The drive from the ferry terminal to our new house took hours and seemed relentlessly slow. After a while, we veered off the highway and headed along the main road to Bamfield. The narrow unpaved road was bumpy and pitted. It was swallowed up by massive, intimidating logging trucks that blasted their horns at us.

I watched them roll precariously close while my father steered our car until it hugged the side of the road. I held my breath, waiting for the huge bands that secured the logs to snap and release the lumber onto our car. And I was sure that we'd topple over into the ditch or onto the rocks below.

I released a long impatient breath.

"Where's the ocean?"

"You just saw it," my father chuckled. "From the ferry."

"No, I mean the ocean ocean," I muttered. "That was just like a big lake. I want to see the real ocean, where it stretches out for miles and you can't see the end of it."

My mother turned and smiled. "You just wait. You'll see it soon enough."

I settled into the back seat with my latest Nancy Drew book and tried to read. But my eyes kept wandering to the window. When we hit a huge pothole, my book dropped to the car floor. It stayed there for the remainder of the trip.

I pushed my face against the window and watched the scenery streak past. The forest that surrounded us was enormous and forbidding. Moss hung eerily from damp branches and a fog danced around the tree trunks.

Then the sun broke out from behind a cloud, free at last from its dark imprisonment. It quickly heated up the interior of the car. Unfortunately, the gravel road kicked up so much dust that I wasn't allowed to roll down the window. And since we didn't have air conditioning, my hair-my Italian mane as my mother called it-hung limply to my waist and my bangs stuck to my forehead.

I scowled. We'd been driving for days and I was tired of being cooped up in the car.

"Close your eyes, Sarah," my father said, interrupting my thoughts. "And don't open them till I say."

I obeyed and held my breath in anticipation.

I'm finally going to see the ocean.

Minutes ticked by and I grew restless. Being a typical eleven-year-old, I had to sneak a peek.

"Okay, now you can look," my father said.

He chuckled when he caught me with my eyes already open.

Pushing my damp bangs aside, I scrunched my face up close to the window. The ocean was spread out before me, interrupted only by a tiny island here and there. The water's surface was choppy with whitecaps and it looked dark and mysterious.

I smiled, satisfied.

Back in Wyoming, we saw endless stretches of green hills and grass with mountains rising in the distance. That was all I'd ever known. I could go horseback riding and never see water bigger than our duck pond. Now before me, the ocean seemed to go on endlessly.

I couldn't resist rolling down the window. As soon as I did, I heard waves crashing along the shoreline.

"Well, what do you think?" my father asked. "This road winds all along the shore. Every now and then, you'll be able to see the ocean. And once we reach Bamfield, our house is just east of town, right on the water."

He reached over and tugged at a piece of my mother's long auburn hair. I laughed when she swatted his hand.

"The house will be ours for the next three years," my mother said over her shoulder. "It belongs to an older couple, so we'll have to take very good care of it."

Twenty minutes later, we passed a sign. Welcome to Bamfield.

I breathed a sigh of relief. We were almost there.

As we drove unnoticed through the modest town, I realized that it was much smaller than Buffalo, the town nearest our ranch in Wyoming. After stopping at Myrtle's Restaurant & Grill for a delicious supper of deep-fried halibut and greasy home-style French fries, we clambered back into the car and headed for our new home.

"The house is just up ahead," my father said. "I know you're going to love it, Dani."

He gave my mother a long, tender look.

MY MOTHER, Daniella Andria Rossetti, was born and raised in San Diego, California. Her parents were immigrants from Italy who had moved to the United States after World War II.

When she was eighteen, her parents moved again, this time to Vancouver, Canada. My mother took advantage of the move, left home and struck out for Hollywood with hopes of becoming a famous actress. After numerous rejections and insulting offers from sleazy directors, she gave up her stalled acting career and studied art and oil painting instead. Within a few months, her work was shown at Visions, a popular art gallery in San Francisco.

It was there that she met my father.

Jack Richardson was a Canadian marine biology student who had wandered in off the street after being caught in a tempestuous downpour of rain. Six months later, my mother moved in with him, much to her parents' disapproval. Four months went by and they were married in a small church with a few friends and family present.

During the next three years, my parents tried to have a child. They had almost given up hope when they discovered that my mother was pregnant. Six months into a perfect pregnancy, she miscarried. My parents were devastated.

Eight months later, my father's stepfather and mother were killed in a car accident. During the reading of the will, my father discovered that he had inherited the family ranch in Wyoming.

But my mother was upset. She didn't want to leave the bustling city of San Francisco for the wide-open plains near Buffalo. When the curator of Visions, Simon McAllister, promised that she could courier her paintings to the gallery, my mother agreed to the move.

After a year on the ranch, she couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Her work thrived, reflecting images of country living, meadows and mountains. Then she was rewarded with unbelievable news. She was pregnant again.

Nine months plus a week later, Sarah Maria Richardson weighed in at eight pounds, four ounces. At three months old, I had thick black hair and dark brown eyes. My parents doted on me.

When I was about six, my mother told me how handsome my father had looked the moment she first saw him in the art gallery. Even though he was shivering and drenched, he had stared at one of her paintings for the longest time.

My mother had fallen in love with him that instant.

It sounded like a fairytale to me, but I believed that my parents loved each other and that they would be together.


NOW, YEARS LATER, we were driving along the rustic coast of Vancouver Island, anticipating the first glimpse of our new home. I felt restless and uneasy. I somehow knew that my life would change the second we drove into those trees.

Destiny ... or fate?

As the sun began to set overhead, we reached a small, barely legible sign that read 231 Bayview Lane. A gravel driveway curved and disappeared into the trees. When the car followed it, we were plunged into darkness. Branches reached out to the car roof, caressing it like a thousand hungry fingers.

The tall cedar trees that surrounded the car opened to reveal a lush lawn carefully landscaped with small shrubs. At the end of the gravel driveway, a two-story cedar house stood just beyond the lawn. The shingles of the roof gleamed in the reddening sunlight. The main door into the house was solid wood with no window. In fact, there were only three small windows on that entire side of the house.

Our new home seemed forlorn, empty.

"Well, not much to look at from here," my mother mumbled. "But I'm sure it's much nicer inside. We could always punch out a window or two."

My father grinned. "Dani, my love, looks can be deceiving. Just wait until you see inside."

When he pulled the car onto a cement pad, my mother smirked. "The garage?" she asked sarcastically.

"You're so funny," he said, unfolding himself from the driver's seat.

I clambered out, impatient to get inside and explore. Reaching for his hand, I tugged on it and pulled him toward the house while my mother followed behind.

At the door, we turned back and caught sight of her pale face.

"Are you okay?" my father asked.

"I'm just a bit carsick," she said with a wry smile. "You two go in first, let me get some fresh air. I'll be in shortly."

"If you're-"

She laughed. "Go inside, Jack. I'm okay."

With a shrug, my father unlocked the door and gave it a gentle nudge. Then he turned to me, his mouth widening into the biggest smile I had ever seen.

"Welcome to your new home, Sarah," he said.

I let go of his hand and eagerly stepped inside, a thrill of excitement racing through me. "I want to see my roo-"

I froze, dead in my tracks.

Chapter Two

IT WAS THE dazzling light that hit us first.

Large picture windows wrapped the entire front of the house and faced the ocean. The flaming sunset outside made the interior glow like the embers of a fire.

"Wow," I murmured.

My eyes swept across the open main floor. There was a living room to my left. It was decorated in bronze and copper tones, and two beige plaid couches framed a chocolate-brown area rug. To my right, a dining room table and four chairs claimed the area in front of one of the windows.

I ran to it, almost knocking over a potted plant. I looked out the window and stared, mesmerized, as the setting sun sparkled on the bay.

"I can hear the ocean, Dad."

The door behind us opened and my mother joined us, her face instantly lighting up. "It's beautiful, Jack."

"It's private too," my father said. "The nearest neighbor is about a fifteen-minute walk down the beach." He teasingly ruffled my hair. "Hey, do you want to check out the rest of the house?"

"Do I ever," I said, my eyes wide with anticipation.

He led me to a large closet by the back door. "This is the closet." His voice was serious, as if he were a realtor showing me a potential property.

I laughed. "No kidding, Dad."

I took off my jacket and hung it in the empty space. That was my first claim on my new home.

"Over here is the living room," my father said with a sweep of one hand.

I pointed to a large black monstrosity. "What is that thing?"

My mother stifled a gasp. "A wood-burning stove. How charming. I love it, Jack." She spun on her heel slowly and surveyed the room. "You were right about this house. It's perfect for us."

I agreed. The house was far better than I had expected.

I walked closer to the stove.

Over it, a cedar shelf was mounted to the peach-colored wall. On it was a peculiar collection of oddities-an eagle's feather, a fisherman's glass ball wrapped with twine, a skull from a small animal and a crab shell.

I looked up and gasped. "Mom! That's your painting."

The large watercolor that hung above the shelf was the one my mother had painted while she was pregnant with me. It was of a mountain waterfall and was her very favorite. Mine too.

"I sent it on ahead so it would be here when we arrived," my father explained. "I asked the caretaker to hang it. He also made sure we have lots of firewood. And he turned the electricity back on."

"Let's check out the kitchen," my mother said, rubbing her hands gleefully.

A spacious country kitchen with a wooden island was tucked around the corner, barely visible. The walls were painted the palest sage green and along the ceiling edge ran a soft leafy border. A small round table and two chairs sat in one corner.

My mother busied herself by checking out the fully stocked cupboards and making a pot of tea while I continued my exploration of the lower level of the house. Between the kitchen and dining room area, a wrought iron staircase led to the upper floor. Behind the stairs, a sliding glass door opened onto a cedar deck.

"Can I go out there?" I asked my father.

He smiled. "Of course. It's your house now."

We stepped outside and the humid night air enveloped us.

"Hey," I shouted. "A swinging chair."

The deck held a padded swing, big enough for three people. There was also a barbecue and a picnic table with two benches. A protective wooden rail ran around the entire deck, with an opening for the stairs that led to the ground below.

I leaned over the rail.

A well-trodden rocky path led from the bottom of the stairs, through the grass and down to the beach. From the deck, I saw waves crashing on the fiery shore. Better yet, I heard them. I breathed in the salty air, thrilled with my new home.

Then I turned and darted inside, urging my father to follow.

"Come on, Dad," I yelled. "I want to see my room."

He smiled and remained where he was. "You two go ahead."

Grabbing my mother's hand, I raced up the spiral staircase to the upper floor. Under my pounding feet, the stairs groaned with a dull clang. I turned down the hall and entered the first room on the right.

The room was tiny, like a baby's nursery. But there was no crib. There wasn't even a bed. The walls were painted off-white, but looked like they had definitely seen better days. Small tables, old toys and cardboard boxes littered the floor. A rocking chair sat motionless near a large window and an antique bookshelf took up one wall. Dusty encyclopedias and ancient books inhabited the shelves.

I drew a heart in the dust.

"This room needs a good cleaning," my mother muttered.

I yanked back my hand and eyed her suspiciously. I was positive that she had plans for me, plans that included a dust rag in one hand and lemon furniture polish in the other.

"This'll be my studio," she said, eying the room.

I barged past her out into the hall. "I want to see my room."

The next room I entered boasted a large brass bed with down-filled pillows and a flowered quilt. Along the side walls stood two white colonial dressers, one with a large oval mirror. The other wall had a cedar bench seat built into a bay window that faced the ocean.


Excerpted from WHALE Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif Copyright © 2007 by Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Luanne Rice
"Deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has written a beautiful, haunting novel."--(Luanne Rice, author, Beach Girls and What Matters Most)
Ian Anthony
...author of Hunter's Moon "Poignant and compelling..."

Meet the Author

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, an award-winning author, participated in a new TV series A Total Write-Off, featuring host comedian Barbara North. The series will air in early 2007. Tardif was nominated in November 2004 for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. She also wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. Her PSA script, One Voice ~ One World placed third and aired on cable channels in Alberta.
She has guested on radio stations and been featured in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the US. She has also been interviewed on various Canadian television stations. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a "gem in the literary world".
Born in BC, Canada, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was an 'army brat' and an 'army wife', and has lived all across Canada. She now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband Marc, her daughter Jessica, and the family dog.
Author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River, she is currently working on two new novels.

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Whale Song 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Ballena More than 1 year ago
This book is very moving. It is an easy read, but a thought provoking and truly eye opening book. My opinion of moving may be a little biased because I already find something spiritual about whales, anyway. However this book is perfect for anyone looking for a book about diversity, sacrifice, family or even someone with a strong pull towards the magic of the oceans and native legends.
lilywolfSPD More than 1 year ago
I would describe this book as a beautiful piece of fiction that reads like a memoir. I've never read a book quite like this..it's very unique. It's about tragedy, understanding, coming-of-age, acceptance and forgiveness. It starts with a Prologue where the main character, Sarah Richardson, touches on the book's theme of connecting the deep, positive perspective of Native spirituality and myths with the often difficult and cruel realities of our life's journey. The book then takes the reader back in time from when Sarah was an eleven-year old girl through her adulthood. She moves from a ranch in Wyoming to a small town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Her father, Jack is a marine biologist who is offered a position on a small ship to study killer whales and recording their songs. Her mother, Dani, is an artist who loves painting, especially pictures in nature. Times were tough for Sarah at first being one of the very few white girls among mostly Native students. She befriends a girl named Goldie who, along with her grandmother, Nana, teaches Sarah the beautiful ways of the Nootka. Nana even gives Sarah her own special name: Hai Nai Yu - The Wise One of One Who Knows. She teaches Sarah various myths about the Seagull, Whale and Wolf, all of which help Sarah get through one of the most devestating times of her life. The two girls become fast and very close friends sticking together through bullying, crushes and the illness of Sarah's mother. As the story progresses, we begin to understand how deeply connected the Nootka legends, the whales and Sarah's life are when Sarah's mother finds out that she has a serious heart condition that has become irreversable. Just before going into the hospital for the final time, Dani asks Jack to promise a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) if she needs to be hooked up to life support. When the moment came when Dani's heart gave out and needed to be on life support, however, the doctor wouldn't comply with Dani's wishes. And that's when the terrible thing happened. Sarah has no memory of what exactly had happened in the room the moments before or after her mother passed away. All she remembers is her father holding the plug to the machines and her running until her lungs hurt. Her father went to prison for the deed but did he really do it? The only one who knew for sure was Sarah and she had no recollection of the events. It would be many years before she remembered but with the help of the Seagull, Whale and Wolf--and the beautiful song of the killer whales--she was finally able to set everyone free. This is, hands down, one of my top five favorite books. It's beautifully written, gorgeous detail, a unique story line and is fast-paced enough that we keep turning the pages but not so much so that it loses the reader. It touches on important issues, like bullying, abuse and losing a parent, in a way that's informative but not overwhelming. What I really loved is how it shone the light on the Native culture and spirituality in such a beautiful way. Plus, Tardif had me with the title: I love whales and dophins! Tardif went through alot to get this story out there, and later on went through alot to help keep the story out there. I have always had such a tremendous respect for her as a writer and author. Now after reading this work, and knowing her reasons for wanting to keep it out there (do be sure to read her dedication to her brother, Jason) I respect her even more as a humanitarian. Highly
GypsyBiker22 More than 1 year ago
I found this book spiritual, mystical and very sweet. Cheryl Kaye Tardif writes like the flow of a river. I was transported to this tiny island in Canada and felt life I had also grown up there. Some people will say that since it is focused on a young girl coming of age, men/boys may not relate to it... this is absolutely false... anyone who is young or young at heart will love this book. I plan on buying copies for many of my friends and family this December. It will forever hold a small place in my heart.
soulandshadow More than 1 year ago
I don¿t know how to do justice to this book in a review. It¿s like trying to describe love or any other emotion¿you have to experience it to really understand. And Whale Song is quite an experience!
The story seems straightforward, moving along in a way that constantly keeps your attention. But underneath are layers of complex feelings and meaning, and they will stir your heart in a big way. Have Kleenex handy! I went through a whole box while reading this. And not because it was sad¿although there is definitely sadness in it¿but because it is so beautifully written. It makes you think. I let go of a burden of bitterness I was holding inside myself, because of the wisdom I found in Whale Song. How many books can you actually say made you a better person and changed your life?
Every single voice in the narrative is completely authentic. From the young girl who tells the story to the wise old Indian woman called Nana, the characters are living, breathing people you wish you could meet. And the sense of place is so real that you can actually see the ocean and hear the songs of the whales.
There is fascinating Indian lore and legend, and a deep vein of spirituality running throughout the book. It¿s a tale of heartbreak and happiness, of shutting yourself in and letting yourself go free. After you dry your tears, the message you take away will be one of hope and strength. Cheryl Tardif definitely understands the human soul. And we are lucky that she has the words to tell us about it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
11-year-old Sarah and her parents, Daniella (an artist), and Jack (a marine biologist), move to Canada from the States. Sarah is not happy about the move but she starts warming up to the idea when she sees their beautiful new house located right along the beach that has an amazing view. She's even more happy when she meets Goldie. The two quickly become best friends. Sarah loves Goldie's family, especially her grandmother who they call Nana most of the time. Goldie is of Indian descent (along with most of the other people in the town where Sarah is living), so Sarah learns new traditions and tales from the past.

Sarah develops a crush on a boy in her class, Adam. She also gets bullied by a girl named Annie. But for the most part she likes her new home. She especially loves going out on the schooner with her parents and listening to the whales, which are Sarah and her mother's new love.

Not long after being in their new home, Sarah's mom starts having fainting spells. It is discovered that she has a rare condition that is slowly wasting her away. When Sarah finds this out she's devastated. Unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can do for her mother. Her doctors only give her about two to three more years to live, max.

When Daniella eventually ends up in a coma, something happens and she dies. Jack (Sarah's father) is arrested for pulling the plug on the machines that were keeping his wife alive. Sadly, after his long-awaited court date, the jury finds him guilty and he's sentenced to ten years in prison.

Sarah has to go back to the U.S. with her grandparents and leave everything behind once again. She tries to block out all that has happened to her back in Canada, even the good things. But when she's older (in her 20's), someone comes along and opens her floodgates (so to speak), and she once again remembers everything, including how her mother died.

This was an incredibly hard book to write a summary of. So much happens in WHALE SONG that it's hard to cover the basic things in a short summary. Just go read the book and you'll find out how wonderful it is! It's completely heart wrenching because you know all along that Daniella is dying. But the whole book is just amazing.

I seriously never wanted to put it down. Ms. Tardif's use of words is incredible, like when she's talking about the killer whales or describing scenery. They just flow so easily across every page. My heartstrings were being pulled the entire time and I absolutely loved it. If you like these type of books, I seriously recommend getting yourself a copy. You seriously won't be disappointed. And yes, I know I just overused the word seriously -- sorry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like books that tug at your heart strings then Whale Song is the book for you. This book was moving in so many ways. Cheryl is such an amazing writer. Her words just flow off the page so easily. Her descriptions are amazing and her characters are so full of life and love. I couldn't put this book down. I loved Sarah's character and how she aged throughout the book. And the ending was just so great. I want to go out and see some Killer Whales now. You should read this! It's such an amazing read about a young girl dealing with her move to Canada and how her family is torn apart by a death.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Only child, star in her parent's crown, Sarah's fairytale life takes a startling and sad turn. The Whale Song is beautifully written, and though not an action novel, it is a page turner. The novel is emotionally evocative 'I shed tears for Sarah and her companions' but there are many, many heartwarming and encouraging aspects. You quickly become embroiled in the narrator's life, and Sarah's voice is so strong you could believe you are reading a true story. The characters are convincing, engaging and memorable. I found myself thinking about the novel and its 'lessons' while driving to work, often in fact. The Native American mysticism was particularly well done and interesting. The story begins when 11-year-old Sarah, her mother and father move from Montana to Vancouver¿from the mountains to the sea. Her father is a marine biologist, her mother an artist. Sarah is devastated by the move but soon makes friends with a Native American girl named Goldie and is accepted by Goldie's family and her wise woman grandmother Nana but at school another Native American student teaches Sarah about discrimination and cruelty. The Whale Song follows Sarah as she matures¿her tragedies and triumphs¿to a satisfying end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with other reviewers that Whale Song is a touching and heartfelt story. The best possible kudos I can give this book are these: I will share this story with my own daughters when they come of age and will enjoy revisiting the story in years to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
t's hard not to think of the influences on this lovely young adult novel: Judy Blume's ear for the desperate seeking of adolescence, Garth Stein's sense of the texture and mythos of the Northwest Coast. But past the influences, there's a pervasive spirituality that runs through this book. It's message is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. It underlies the questions of adolescent autonomy and the right to determine the end one's life. It is much deeper than the issues of bullying and fitting in and first love that occupy and pre-occupy so many YA novels. There are charming characters here: you might be able to forget Sarah the narrator, but you will never forget Nana, her spiritual mentor. And you will certainly remember the wolf and the whale who form the core of this story. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a whim, and could not put it down. Ms. Kaye-Tardif has a wonderfully unique writing style that I enjoyed very much, and I am looking forward to reading more novels by her. Whale Song is the story of Sarah Richardson, who at age 11, moves to Canada from Wyoming in the summer of 1977. She is befriended by a Native American girl and her Grandmother, and they take Sarah into their family and treat her as their own. Sarah's father, Jack, worked for a company studying marine biology and Sarah often went out on the Ocean with him listening to the sounds of Killer Whales, and seeing whales close up. I love this book so much, but know that I can't say much else about it without giving away main events in the novel. If you're looking for an easy, thought provoking read, I suggest you pick up Whale Song.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is rare that I read a book that moves me so much that I feel compelled to write to the author and her publisher, thanking them for making the book available to be experienced. Whale Song is such a book for me. I was taken on a journey with Sarah Richardson as she experienced loss after loss, yet emerged victorious, wiser, and stronger. This is a story of grief but most of all of the enduring power of love, and of the amazing connections that all beings have with one another. I look forward to reading more of Cheryl Kaye Tardif's work. Beth Fehlbaum Author, Courage in Patience 'Sometimes the only way to survive life is to find the courage to finally live.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Softly written and beautifully configured, WHALE SONG takes you on an emotional journey of mystery and faith. The losses and healing in a young girls life are described realistically and powerfully. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has done an outstanding job of writing a novel that wants to be read. I couldn't put it down!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This beautiful coming of age novel takes us from what seems to be a single tragic event in the life of a young girl, to the even more tragic aftermath. We see this young girl become someone else entirely as she grows into adulthood. It doesn't end there - as she has to complete the circle the tragedy started. Right when you think you know the ending, you might be surprised!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whale Song is a awesome story! I've read it many times now and it's my favourite book. Most of my friends, even some guys have read it and I'm only 16. The indian legends were mystical and so easy to imagine I could see it in my mind. I believe Whale Song would make a sensational movie...it's very emotional 'it made me cry!' but it leaves you feeling hopeful and good, even though its about death and assisted suicide. I love killer whales and just saw Luna Spirit of the Whale on tv and it made me think of Whale Song. It's the same legend. So if you like killer whales 'orca' and legends, buy this book! Me and my friends all agree it is one of the BEST books we've read in a long long time. Whale Song is for any age, like maybe adult to 10. It will make you laugh and cry, and its hard to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When a movie gets made of Whale Song ¿ and it will ¿ I won¿t be surprised if the character of Sarah has a halo over her head the whole movie. This is a deeply stirring novel ¿ and one that will prove Cheryl Kaye Tardif is now one of the finest Canadian novelists ¿ if not one of the most sentimental and observant human beings. Be ready to be moved. And be ready to hear what nature says to us ¿ will you? ¿ then become a better human. ¿¿Todd Sentell, author of Toonamint of Champions: How LaJuanita Mumps Got to Join Augusta National Golf Club Real Easy
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was on a flight to Hawaii when I first read Whale Song. I did not expect to experience so many emotions as each page came alive in my hands. The story is timeless and the message relevant. I highly recommend this book to anyone who can read! If you have been hurt...loved...abandoned...afraid...forgiven...Whale Song will touch your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe this book to be a great read for most people, specially children around ages 9-16. It is well written and easy to read, it kept me in suspense wanting to turn each page to see what was coming next. My hat's off to the Author.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When Cheryl Tardif's publisher invited me to read Whale Song, I admit to beginning with a certain amount of trepidation. After all, the novel is YA, aimed at young female readers, and I'm 66 and male. Talk about polar opposites. I'm so glad I didn't let those things deter me. Cheryl Tardif is wonderfully talented. Her prose is clean, so economical I found the act of reading esthetically pleasing in and of itself. And yes, just as you would suspect, beneath this technically superior surface lurks a story of great intensity, passion, and drama. There is much more to Whale Song than smooth writing. Even though the outcome is foretold in various chapter endings, the story still hooked me, pulled me ever forward, toward the fateful conclusion. It's a book about life and death. I loved it. Recommended for anyone who can remember the pain of adolescence. To those of you who are there now, Whale Song might make the journey a little easier. For those who can only remember, Whale Song will bring a tear to your eye and make you wish you could go back and do it all again, no matter how hard your own journey was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whale Song deals with teenage issues such as bullying and cultural differences. It is an excellent book! Some parts will make you cry; some parts will make you joyful. Adventurous and realistic, Whale Song is a book for all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whale Song is now my favorite book! The characters are so believable they make you cry. It is awesome for kids over 13 and includes teen issues like bullying, racism and family tragedy. Keep Kleenex nearby!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whale Song is a poignant, well written novel by a rising Canadian author. Tardif has created an enchanting story that will mesmerize you, keep you glued to the pages, and leave you with tears in your eyes. An amazing story that will make you remember what it was like to be a teenager. Whale Song is for anyone looking for a story with heart, tragedy, love and forgiveness. You won't forget this book long after you've put it down.