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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Winner of the 2014 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
One Book Nova Scotia Selection 2014

Claudia, single mother of two young children, pines for her past independent life. Her ex, after all, has moved on to a new wardrobe, a new penchant for lattes--and worst of all, new adult friends. But in Claudia's house she's still finding bananas in the sock drawer and cigarettes taped
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Freehand Books
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A funny thing happened while I was reading Roost. I was on a flight from Nova Scotia, author Ali Bryan’s home province and the setting of Roost, on my way home to Alberta, where Bryan now lives. I was nursing Henry while Ben played on his iPad. Ben’s legs don’t reach the floor, so he braced himself on the seat in front of him to adjust his position. The woman in front of Ben turned around and said, “If your son kicks my seat again, I am going to come back there and pour a glass of water over his ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A lovely and quick read. Claudia is the single mother of two children who is forced to grow up quickly when her mother unexpectedly passes away and she is left with a brother who can't cope and a dad who falls apart. The book is told as a series of very quick chapters - almost vignettes - and gives us a clear picture of a woman who is barely keeping it together in all aspects of her life - as a parent, as an ex-wife, as a daughter and sister, as a woman. Moments ring true to anyone who has ever ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Roost is a fun, quick read that you can easily finish in a day or two. I don’t think that I have ever read a romance novel, but I imagine Roost would read much like a romance, only without most of the romance. The chapters are short, which makes it satisfying to read and easy to fly through.

Roost is hilariously funny all the way through. The conversations that Claudia has with her 2 and 4-year-olds crack me up. Don’t expect kids that age to have a conversation that makes any sense.

Even though Ro
Aug 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I'm obviously in the minority here, but I am not enjoying this book at all. I guess it simply isn't my type of book. I started it because of One Book Nova Scotia, but after 89 pages I'm finding it simply too lightweight, uninteresting writing style, and not very funny, which it is supposed to be. In short, boring. It's taken me until now to figure out where the author is taking us with it. If I had read the dustcover I would have known sooner, but I never read dustcovers as they always give away ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Absolutely loved this book. It's kind of weird when a domestic book about home life seems fresh and original. This was a story about a single parent and her two children, and how she deals with parenting when her mom dies and her family sort of falls apart.

I loved the voice and the humour in this book. It was actually funny.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Ali Bryan's debut novel Roost is the amusing and oddly touching story of Claudia, single mother and marketing professional. Narrated in Claudia's edgy, fast-paced, plain-spoken voice, the novel takes us through a series of personal crises as she struggles to wrangle her children-—Wes (four) and Joan (two)-—and cope with her father's erratic behaviour following the death of her mother. Separated from Glen, who is still in the picture but showing distinct signs of moving on with his life, Claudia' ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won this book from First Reads and was asked to write a review. Roost is a story about the life of a single mom and the challenges she faces in raising her children while being the glue holding the family together after her mother dies. I thought it was a good story. It was not a book that I couldn't put down. It wasn't a mystery or a thriller. Just a nice story that was very well-written with touches of humor that vaguely reminded me of Erma Bombeck. There were many parts of the story that ma ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads. Claudia is a single mother of two children, aged 4 and 2. Just reading about her life exhausted me because it is hilariously chaotic. She has a near perfect brother who makes her feel inept and inferior. He gifts their parents with a trip to Cuba (this story is located in Novia Scotia). While on the trip, Claudia's mother suffers an accident that proves fatal. While the family seems to cope with this tragedy on the surface, as the book co ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the humour and the reality of the book. The ending is abrupt but completely understandable. I love each and every character, even the romance. Although normal books would've ended in a clichéd manner, I much prefer this one. The book is so unique with the routine that I feel as if I can vividly see it and I love it! I hope to read more books from Ali Bryan! This book was given to me through the contest on here and I feel so lucky to have read it and be one of the rest to have do ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hope Ali Bryan has more books in the works. It's so rare to literally laugh-out-loud while reading a book. I enjoyed every bit of this book, even the hard parts (ex. Claudia's mother dying) as the family dynamics were so honest. The mess, the chaos and the hurriedness of Claudia's home (and life) was palpable and I felt like a fly on the wall, observing it all. As an expectant mother, I appreciated the underlying theme and candidness that while you will always love your children, sometimes you ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, firstreads
I received a copy of this book for free through goodreads first reads. I got really into this book. The main character Claudia felt real to me and it was like I was experiencing all of her pain and frustration along with her. Her ex-husband was so irritating and the strain felt in all of her relationships was stressful to witness as she processed through her mother's death. I enjoyed this book because it was cathartic and had me crying at times but also cracked me up.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I genuinely love this book, and it made me laugh out loud several times--and it takes a lot to make me laugh while reading! I'm not a parent myself, but I feel like this book captures parenthood in a way that feels real--never fake or over-simplified, but as something that's complicated and messy and overwhelming and wonderful and terrible. An extremely funny and moving novel.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book. It was hilarious. You will cheer on the very loveable (and dysfunctional) main character to the end. I went out and bought a copy for my friend. I would recommend this book to anyone. A fun summer read and an exciting debut for Ali Bryan!
Liana Kreamer
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Clare Hitchens
Shelves: canadian-fiction
This book is funny! It's like Susan Juby's "Alice, I Think" for grown-ups. Imperfect moms everywhere will appreciate the chaos.

I spotted this book on the list of eligible books for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize. It will definitely be a contender for the Stephen Leacock Award.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is for anyone with the perfect brother, aging parents and children. Light and funny, sweet and at times funny, it was a great quick read. Canadian references throughout.
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book about a single mom with 2 kids.

It was funny in parts and sad in other parts.

It ended too soon.
Mary Elizabeth Morton
I really liked this book. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me smile. The main character's voice was authentic and I related to her in many ways...specifically when dealing with her children. For example...hollering at her children right in the middle of a phone conversation with her best friend or being bewildered by her funny and frustrating children. Unfortunately I decreased my rating due to language, a scene with drug use and a sex scene that made me uncomfortable. Otherwise this is ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Fiction, Contemporary, Atlantic Canadian)

Roost was chosen as the One Book Nova Scotia selection for 2015.

Set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it relates a slice of life for Claudia, a recently-single mom of two pre-schoolers, whose mother dies suddenly at the age of 60. Claudia must cope not only with her own grief, but also that of her brother, and of her father – who starts to hoard. Plus, her ex is moving to another relationship.

I found this to be laugh-out-loud funny, but it does contain a lot of c
Mary Lou
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very funny, interactions with family and others in Claudia's life are entertaining and poignant.
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
The review actually uses the word ‘hilarious”. The book is, at best, “cute”. But it’s not even funny, let alone hilarious
Julia Stewart
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Laughed right out loud at so many spots! Writing was refreshing and so much fun!
Mj Amirault
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This year's One Book Nova Scotia read. Also my September book club read. Claudia is a single parent of two young children, finding it difficult to cope with single life when her mother suddenly dies after a boating accident. This is a story of how her family copes with the aftermath of this tragedy. I found the story a bit of a slow read for the first 70 pages or so, but it did pick up after that and had some actually very funny moments interspaced throughout the rest of the book. The author was ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is very amusing yet touching at the same time. Bryan handles the first-person narrator really well and creates a voice for Claudia that is very believable. The fact that she is able to make us laugh yet still give dignity to those characters who are clearly suffering, like her dad and the woman who almost gives birth on the plane, is a tribute to her writing skill.

Some of the best chapters are the ones containing the conversations with her two young kids. They are spot-on authentic. T
Tamara Taylor
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is a fantastic book. 4.5 stars. Bryan is an extremely gifted writer. This is probably the most accurate portrayal of parenthood I've ever encountered. It is very real. It is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. It makes the daily grind noteworthy. I loved the writing style and the short, dense chapters that pack a punch. It is honest in a way that many novels aren't.


…when you first held her in the hospital and she weighed five pounds and she gazed in your eyes and you fell in love
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
This book is at a different pace than most books I've read. Instead of following a story arc with a build towards a climax, this book is more like a snippet of a 6 month period of this woman's life. It keeps at the same frenetic pace describing both mundane life and loss as she's single parenting her kids, working, dealing with her mom's death and dealing with her brother and issues with her father after her mom dies. At first I really didn't like this book for the reasons I just mentioned, and ...more
Janet Cameron
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, blue
My mother recommended this novel to me - always listen to your mother. This has got to be one of the most honest and funny depictions of single-parenthood ever, and especially of the strain most women have to deal with in being expected to do everything, everywhere, all the time. The scene where Claudia has her eye gouged by her two-year-old and calmly calls a babysitter and then a taxi to get herself to a hospital, all the while dealing with the guilt of realising her beautiful child can also b ...more
Alison DeLory
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Another case where I wish Goodreads had a half-star rating because this is truly a 3.5-stars book for me. It was a quick read and in equal parts funny and sad. For me, however, the pain and grief around the mother's death wasn't explored in quite as much detail as I wanted. The main character was in survival mode with young kids, a job, and forging a new relationship with her ex-husband. I got that she was just managing, but still wish she'd been a bit less self-involved. Her life seemed like on ...more
Mandi Button
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd never read a book quite like this before, in this style of writing, and was amused and enjoyed the author's sense of humor for about the first third of the book... It might just be that it's not my type of book, but after that the jokes seemed to get a little repetitive. It does seem that the author had fun writing this book, and I did enjoy the more serious parts of it, (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*mild spoiler*

Picked this up because it is this year's One Book Nova Scotia selection and I really enjoyed it. I read it in 2 sittings (could have been 1 if my dogs hadn't needed a walk!!). I laughed, cried, related and empathized. The bits of recognizable Nova Scotia are included in the text in the most natural fashion, without feeling forced or our of place, and the pop culture references for people of an age with Claudia are the same - they aren't over explained, you just get them. And there
Kelly Osmond
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a deep read yet easy, enjoyable and often comical. Perhaps I relate because I've just lost my mother or maybe even the Canadianisms or the Halifax setting, but I spent lots of time shaking my head in agreement.

Would definitely read her next book, if there is one.
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Is Claudia a reliable or unreliable narrator? 1 4 Jun 30, 2015 02:47PM  

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