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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  17 reviews
It is the summer of 1959, and in a prairie town in Saskatchewan, Alec Monkman waits for his estranged daughter to come home, with the grandson he has never seen. But this is an uneasy reunion. Fiercely independent, Vera has been on her own since running away at nineteen – first to the army, and then to Toronto. Now, for the sake of her young son, she must swallow her pride ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published April 3rd 1999 by Emblem Editions (first published 1989)
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I finished this several days ago and I’m still trying to decide if everything fit together. The story is largely set in Saskatchewan in 1959, with flashbacks to Vera’s childhood and life after she left home at the age of seventeen. Now in her mid- to late-30s she has a 12-year-old son, Daniel, who she worries obsessively over because of negative big city influences. So she decides to return to her isolated hometown to live with her father. This takes a 56 hour bus ride. I’ll think of that next t ...more
Jennifer D
there were many moments in this book which i really enjoyed so much, but there were parts that just didn't come together for me. i was frustrated by the stubbornness and lack of communication going on between alec and vera (father and daughter in the novel). i get it. i do. people really are like this, and it's great to write around two characters like this. i suppose i just feel like more opportunities could have been taken to show more dimensions with alec and vera. they did have moments, and ...more
A quiet moving book with deeply developed characters and relationships. For the reader much is left unsaid but all is conveyed. For the characters in the story, much is left unsaid and the results are often tragic. Wonderful descriptions of place and time. Excellent writing.
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
I knew this was a 5-star read probably 2 pages in. My first read of Vanderhaeghe, but Homesick has made certain it will now not be my last. Fantastic read.
Thirty-six-year-old Vera Miller doesn’t want to return to her father’s home in the small town of Connaught, Saskatchewan, but she feels there’s little choice. As a single mother with a dead-end job and a twelve-year-old boy who’s falling under negative influences, it’s time to take action. The problem is that Vera’s been angry with her father since before she left home seventeen years earlier, and her anger hasn’t faded.

Homesick is a beautifully written story about a family who can’t accept, or
This was printed in 1982, and was one of Guy Vanderhaeghe's first books.

Set in Saskatchewan, a touching family drama in which everyone has secrets, every character is three dimensional, complex, evolving, touchingly real.

I had to hold myself in check - hurry through to see what was going to happen, or go slow and savour the story and keep it at it longer.

The only complaint I have is that the "mystery" of the brother could have been shown by the sister's perspective a little more deeply.

A very g
Carly Svamvour
There's nothing all that fascinating about the book; nothing exotic or particularly shocking. It's the story of a typical family situation where a single mother returns to her father's home, even though it's the last place she wants to be, but she knows it's the best thing for her young teenage son.

I like the way Vanderhaeghe weaves the tale - he gives a little backstory here and there so the reader understands just how the mother and son came to be where they're at.

There's a brother and a litt
Carol Harrison
Couldn't decide if I "really liked" or only "liked" this book--I was definitely caught up in it and usually read longer than planned whenever I picked it up. The 2 main characters, Alex and his daughter Vera, are both so stubborn you want to shake them, but during the course of the novel you do get some insight into why this is so. Still maybe just a bit overdone. I like the descriptions, and the different points of view, although at times near the end of the book this becomes a little confusing ...more
This novel's rendering of the attempts by an estranged father and daughter to establish a new relationship is straightforward, down to earth, unvarnished and very effecting because it never overtly pulls at the reader's heartstrings. The lives of the crusty but not uncaring father, the feisty daughter, her surprisingly but not unrealistically mature 12-year-old son and a dedicated and long-suffering family friend intertwine in emotionally resonant fashion.
This was a very easy read. Vanderhaeghe is a great story teller. Actually this book made me incredibly sad for a variety of reasons. The grandson-grandfather relationship was an interesting one. I felt all the characters were well fleshed out and the ending was satisfying, but I found the last 1/4 of the book so very very sad.
This wasn't his best book, and it likely won't stay with me for long. Heartfelt and enjoyable, and well worth the read, but it doesn't have the stylistic excellence or the punch of some of his more recent works. No regrets about this, but if I'm ranking it against his other books it just doesn't quite hold up.
About a daughter who returns to live with her father, bringing her 12 year old son. What did happen to the brother? Another story of a dysfunctional family and the year they have.
Families, their failures and secrets and the deep effects these have on the lives of their individuals. It's a simple story, but well told and affecting.
Harry Monk

sat Dow to read. The Mai characters were well drawn and engaging. 4 stars This book really held my attention each time I sat down to read. The Ma
I read this entire book one summer day in 2001. I don't remember much of the book but it was a sublime and languid experience for me.
Dan Dyck
Gritty, timeless yet firmly set in time, 100% prairie. A totally engaging read on what hardens and softens the soul.
Fabulous. And heartbreaking.
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Guy Clarence Vanderhaeghe, OC, SOM is a Canadian fiction author.

Vanderhaeghe received his Bachelor of Arts degree with great distinction in 1971, High Honours in History in 1972 and Master of Arts in History in 1975, all from the University of Saskatchewan. In 1978 he received his Bachelor of Education with great distinction from the University of Regina. In 1973 he was Research Officer, Institute
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