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The Building Of Jalna (Whiteoaks of Jalna #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  408 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
First published in 1944, The Building of Jalna is one of sixteen books in the Jalna series written by Canada's Mazo de la Roche.

In The Building of Jalna, Adeline lay thinking about the journey. They were leaving London. When might she see it again? Perhaps never, with all the dangers of travel. What would happen to her and Philip in the New World? What strange distant pla
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published 1983 by Macmillan (first published January 1st 1935)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 778)
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Tea Jovanović
Jun 15, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing
Ovo je divan serijal od 16 naslova kanadske autorke koja se već smatra klasikom u Kanadi... Čitala sam je u tinejdžerskom uzrastu i bilo mi je veoma zabavno... Prosto nisam mogla da dočekam da u British Councel-u vrate s čitanja sledeći nastavak... Nažalost, nikada nije prevedena na srpski ili hrvatski...
I'll bet every public librarian of my era remembers the shelf full of books in the Jalna series. (They're still available in my library system; not at my library but scattered throughout with a title here and there.) That's what made us curious to read this first title chronologically (but published 20+ years into the series). It's a delightful read for anyone who enjoys old-fashioned family sagas. The heroine echoes Scarlet O'Hara in many ways, beautiful but willful, but her husband adores her. ...more
The heroine reminded me of Scarlet O'Hara, beautiful, forceful, spirited and spoiled. While I enjoyed reading this novel I found the writing a bit effusive; the author wrote with such emotionally bold strokes that it tended to make everything that happened seem to be of great import when in the actual flow of the story it wasn't. Not sure if I'll continue to seek out more books in this series or not.
Mar 27, 2012 Holly rated it liked it
If you like plot, don't bother with THE BUILDING OF JALNA. There's little conflict here, since the story revolves around a young couple who are happily married, who have no money troubles and no other pressing worries worth mentioning. The book is episodic, featuring scenes in their lives before and after their relocation from the United Kingdom to Ontario, Canada.

However, as a whole the Jalna series is very compelling. It chronicles the history of the Whiteoak family from the early 1850's to t
Aug 05, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this three quarters of a century old book. It gave an entirely new perspective of the immigrant story! The Whiteoaks family immigrates with their Chippendale furniture and Asian carpets. They build a mansion on a hill with well paid labor. But the pleasure in the book is the humor. I chuckled! I don't remember the last time I chuckled. Adeline Whiteoaks would probably drive me nuts in real life, but she is a pleasure to read about. All of the characters were surpris ...more
An unexpected pleasure in this first of a 16 volume series. Follows Philip and Adeline from 1850s India to England to Ireland to Quebec to the wilds of Ontario. While there are hardships, plenty of money makes them all manageable. Love the little glimpses of what's in store for future generations. Interesting characters abound, and, while this by no means a comedy, there are some wonderful LOL moments.
Dec 02, 2008 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The serie of the Jalna books (10 volumes or more?) remains for many French people a very beloved memory of childhood reading (although they were originally published in English, they seem to have been more popular in France than in the US). This epic saga of a Canadian family is like a house you used to go as a kid and are fond of, more because of nostalgic reasons than because the house is an architectural masterpiece. No one would argue that Mazo de la Roche was a great writer. But her charact ...more
Jo Marie
Aug 10, 2015 Jo Marie rated it really liked it
Quite enjoyable story of a young British couple emigrating to Canada in the mid 1800s.
May 28, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it
In the 70's, these books were made into a series on Canadian TV. I was a young teenager and it must have been on past my bedtime, as I never did see it. But, I decided to read the books. These must be read in order, and I was taking them out of the library, so there were lots of delays. I eventually gave up trying to finish the series.

I recently found these as e books at my library and decided to read them again. I found that they have aged pretty well! Lots of drama between the characters, and
Aug 04, 2011 Marlene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this because Lydia Davis had mentioned de la Roche's Jalna books as among her literary influences. Have to say I found it a bit of a slog, however. "The Building of Jalna" is the first book, chronologically, although it was not the first book published, and perhaps "Jalna" was more compelling. This one boils down to lovely, wealthy people to whom nothing terribly riveting happens as they establish their home and dynasty in Ontario, Canada. The author may have been striving to create somet ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Kurt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in the series of well-known Canadian stories. The writing feels dated--well, because it was written about 50 years ago. The author keeps the reader at arm's length the whole time. It was good enough for me to try the second novel (of which I'm half-through). Though, I worry, it's a bit too staid to compete with the other items in my to-read list.

Luckily the pace is brisk. So quite a bit happens in each novel, it just doesn't get very intimate. Meaning, you don't really feel what the charac
Feb 29, 2012 K.l. rated it it was amazing
Possibly my favorite Jalna book! Even though it was written as a prequel (Jalna was the first book actually written) it is chronologically the first book in the series. I traces the travels of a young Captain Philip Whiteoak and his wife Adeline from their station in India, to England, Ireland, Quebec and finally Ontario where they build their house - Jalna.
We see Adeline's stubborness in ensuring that she give birth to her second son Ernest in the half completed house, her rage at a young girl
Grande série de 16 tomes écrite par une Canadienne anglaise. Histoire se déroulant dans la région des grands lacs de l'Ontario.
Chronique familiale. Chaque tome suit un des membres de la famille. Accent cependant sur Renny, le petit-fils de la propriétaire.
On suit la famille sur quatre générations. C'est un peu long, mais donne une vision de l'histoire ontarienne rurale de l'avant première guerre mondiale (et un peu après).
J'ai lu cette série à l'âge de 14 ans... Mamy et moi nous arrachions les
Jan 01, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
I read a few books of this series in high school. I thought it was about time that I read all of them. It was a series that both my Mom and my Grandma read, enjoyed, and shared with each other. I thought it'd be nice to be part of that legacy.

This first book was a little hard to get into, there were parts that had me really absorbed, but other parts had me a little bored. Why explain such minute details? I guess it was a different time, and different writing style. But it just kept lingering on.
Michelle Lotter
Jun 30, 2014 Michelle Lotter rated it really liked it
Very old school way of writing. Very innocent period. I am so glad I finally got to start on this range of sixteen books. Quite interesting. Don't know whether the way the author wrote it fascinated me more than the books. They are seques but not written in any particular order. The auther, Mazo De La Roche had this story in her mind and wrote it over a period of thirty years. She started of with the fourth book and just wrote and added on as she felt. Amazing way of writing.
Jun 30, 2016 Margaret rated it liked it
Read many of the Jalna books as a child and returned to them looking fir an easy read. Pleasant story; minimal plot; interesting characters.
Meg Ulmes
Jun 08, 2011 Meg Ulmes rated it liked it
I decided to read the Jalna series this summer as a tribute to my Dad. He loved these novels and owned many of them. This is the first book in the series--and so of course it introduces all the main characters and the building of the house that will dominate the story. The Whiteoak family is at the core of the story with the married couple Phillip and Adeline starring as the main characters in this slim volume. I had a little trouble getting into the first hundred pages, but after I got intrigue ...more
Kathy  Petersen
The Jalna books are leftover from my early teenage years. I wondered if I'd like them now that I'm a somewhat cynical but at any rate non-romantic grown-up. Surprise, surprise: I was even tempted to give it five stars. However, The Building of Jalna is really just an ordinary novel, but written, I think, when more care was expanded on character development and general description, on solid writing, even on grammar and construction and propriety. I find all that too much of a rarity in current no ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Aline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serie
I really enjoyed going back to Jalna. I read this serie when I was still quite young, about 11 years old, because two of my eldest sisters were reading it at the time. But, at the time, I didn't understand everything about the Whiteoaks' life in Canada or about the relationships between the main characters. Now that I'm older, I can appreciate the real value of this story.
What I will remember of it is the freedom that you can feel from page to page: the freedom of this new world, still quite sav
Jan 22, 2014 Glenna rated it liked it
I read this book a long time ago. I had almost forgotten about it. I was reminded when I heard that the home where she lived in Yorkville is in the area of a fire that is burning as I write!
Aug 03, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2013
I expected this to be a more plot-driven novel. Many conflicts were set up, but then their resolutions were just glossed over. This was a good example of an author doing a lot more "telling" rather than "showing." Most of the book had that distant tone that authors use for flashbacks, which makes sense in a way, since this was written as a prequel. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to read the series in chronological order. I've already got the next one on the kindle, so I guess I'll give it a try. I ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Magda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts a little slow but the action gets more interesting toward the end. I'm starting the next volume tonight. We'll see what it brings :)
Oct 07, 2012 Anduine rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
This was the first family-saga i ever read. As a teenager i loved and devoured the books. Now I am rediscovering them and still find them very enchanting, but maybe that is my nostalgic point of view? For everybody expecting action, these books are not for you, as a matter of fact i would not even rank the series among top class novels, however if you are looking for good, solid, light fun entertainment, that does not lose it's charme over the years, you will not be disappointed
Jun 25, 2012 Alida rated it really liked it
I read the series years ago. Every 2 weeks my sisters and I would eagerly look for the next instalment in the bookmobile that came near our home. I was a little leery to re-read a book I had good memories of but I enjoyed it all over again. I don't think these books would be for everyone since they're rather slow-paced. The Building of Jalna is the first chronologically in the 16 book series but was written as a prequel to several others.
Janet Aileen
Jun 12, 2016 Janet Aileen rated it liked it
First published in 1944, the Jalna series is one of the most popular of all time. While the culture and settings are interesting, it is rather fluffy and corny. That said, it is easy to understand it's wide popularity.
Dec 09, 2012 Robyn rated it it was amazing
i am returning to my book roots this was the first series of adult books that I read, I used to go toParramatta Library every week on the bus to get the next one. I was given 6 of the books for presents over the years. I have read the complete series only once but the 6 books I have read many times over.

Really enjoying reading the 16 books from my Kindle.
Bryan Richard
I've wanted to start this series by a Canadian writer Mazo de la Roche, for a long time. I can remember when growing up in Toronto in the Beach, my mother used to always watch the Jalna tv series on CBC tv. I've just finished the first book in the series, "The Building of Jalna". Can't wait to get into the next book in the series. A great start at any rate.
Jo Oehrlein
Aug 14, 2012 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
This is a re-read of a book (and series) that I read when I was growing up. This is book #1 in chronological order, but it was not published first. It very much has the feel of setting the stage, defining the characters and explaining how things started -- sort of a creation mythology for the series.

It's an enjoyable book, but not a great one.
Jan 06, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: read-before-2010
Given to me by my aunt; started me on one of my favorite series in high school, though I did not real all 16 of them.
Sep 23, 2012 Edith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
J'avais adoré cette série à l'adolescence et je l'avais lu au moins deux fois. C'est maintenant le temps de la revisiter en version originale. Comme livre unique, il a peu d'intérêt. Il est intéressant quand on a lu le reste de la série et qu'on veut savoir comment tout a commencé.
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Mazo de la Roche, born Mazo Louise Roche, was the author of the Jalna novels, one of the most popular series of books of her time.

The Jalna series consists of sixteen novels that tell the story of the Canadian Whiteoak family from 1854 to 1954, although each of the novels can also be enjoyed as an independent story. In the world of the Whiteoaks, as in real life, people live and die, find success
More about Mazo de la Roche...

Other Books in the Series

Whiteoaks of Jalna (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Morning at Jalna (Whiteoaks Of Jalna, #2)
  • Mary Wakefield (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #3)
  • Young Renny (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #4)
  • Whiteoak Heritage (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #5)
  • Whiteoak Brothers (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #6)
  • Jalna (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #7)
  • Whiteoaks Of Jalna (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #8)
  • Finch's Fortune (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #9)
  • The Master of Jalna (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #10)
  • Whiteoak Harvest (Whiteoaks of Jalna, #11)

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