Ivan Doig’s companion memoir to his bestselling This House of Sky—inspired by the letters his mother wrote during World War II—is “a lyrical evocation of the Doigs’ gallantly hardscrabble existence and love for the unforgiving Montana mountains” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Raised by his father and maternal grandmother, Ivan Doig grew up with only a vague memory of his mother, who died on his sixth birthday. Then he discovered a cache of her letters, and through them, a spunky, passionate, can-do woman emerged. His mother was as at home in the saddle as behind a sewing machine, and as in love with language as her son.
In this prize-winning prequel to his acclaimed memoir This House of Sky, Doig brings to life his childhood before his mother’s death, and the family’s journey from the Montana mountains to the Arizona desert and back again. “Profoundly original and lustrous,” (Kirkus Reviews) Doig eloquently captures the texture of the American West during and after World War II, the fortune of a family, and one woman’s indomitable spirit. Doig is “a colloquial stylist without equal…and Heart Earth is a book that repeatedly proves the power of language” (Los Angeles Times).
Ivan Doig (1939-2015) was a third-generation Montanan and the author of sixteen books, including the classic memoir This House of Sky and most recently Last Bus to Wisdom. He was a National Book Award finalist and received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. Doig lived in Seattle with his wife, Carol. Visit IvanDoig.com.
Heart Earth 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
In "Heart Earth," Doig is exploring the possibilities of his mother through a series of letters she had sent long after she wrote them/died. He was only 6 when she died, so his memories are limited and he includes these along with anecdotes from things left behind and told to him. It is relatively short, as you would expect for such an exploration with limited information. The language is very detailed and things move relatively slowly. On the one hand, it's lovely to see a son learning about his mother. On the other, I found it hard to follow and a little too descriptive to really pull me in to the story. It may have helped if I had read past memoirs from the author, but without this information, I felt a little lost and the stories felt somewhat disconnected. I think it's a writing style that people may like or not, so it's probably just my personal opinion. I enjoyed some of the stories, enough to give it 3 stars, but overall, it was just OK to me. Please note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway.
More than 1 year ago
Based on the letters his mother wrote to his uncle during World War II, Doig is able to construct an understanding of his mother who died when he was young. Anyone who has lost a parent at an early age would long for the information provided in his mother's letters to a beloved brother fighting in the War. Doig has the ability to draw a reader in and to enable that reader to share in his sorrow, but the book is by no means a "downer." His mother's life was short, but it burned bright with love.
More than 1 year ago
This is a heartfelt true story about a time in the west, and a family bound to each other by the hardships of life. I couldn't put it down. Ivan Doig writes from the heart.
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