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The Mountain and the Valley
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The Mountain and the Valley

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The Mountain and the Valley is an affectionate portrait of David Canaan, a sensitive boy who becomes increasingly aware of the difference that sets him apart from his family and his neighbours. David’s desire to write is the secret that gives this haunting story its detailed focus and its poignant theme.

Set in the years leading up to World War II and against the backdrop o
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by New Canadian Library (first published 1954)
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Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Canadian novel of all time. Buckler is able to capture moments so beautifully. His writing is poetic and so clearly draws images that the reader wants to savor and cherish.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ncl
I loved this book both for the quality of the writing and the sensitively drawn characters. This book touched me at a deep personal level which is the reason I give it 5 stars.
The story is centred on a family and the community they live in within a valley. The valley is where they all live but it the mountain that represents their own struggles with personal demons and fears. Each one is scarred and flawed in some way and yet each one is needed.
David feels things painfully because he overthink
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful to read this again. It is a quiet story with a kind of deafening urgency to it. David Canaan, the protagonist, is "born with the condition of universality in him". He is an adaptable young man and highly sensitive to his family and the rural community that surrounds him. But he is struggling to develop his own voice as an artist: "When David closed his eyes at night, all the strange horde of imagination swarmed, seething, into his brain - the bewildering multiplicity of memory, the tee ...more
John the Obscure
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my favourite Canadian Lit books. If I would have rated this after the first time I read it, I would have given it 5 stars - then, I was young and impressionable. After a second, more analytical read, I still think it is a beautiful and well-written story, but it could flow a little better.

Everything about this book is subtle, which convey's the sense of lose and loneliness all the more readily.

Spoiler: there is a death at the end of this novel that is utterly beautiful in its descriptio
The author's loving description of the farm in the Annapolis family, along side his lyrical description of the natural features in the mountain and the valley, enhance this moving story with the twin themes of family and loneliness.
Carolyn Pullman
Mar 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disliked
They made us read this book in high school in New Brunswick and I hated it.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was required to read this book for a Canadian Literature course in University. It became of one my favourites. I could really relate to some of the feelings that David has about life.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
It feels rude to give a book fewer stars because the protagonist is the worst, but also the protagonist is the worst. Language is lovely, but pettiness runs through the novel like an underground river.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
My dust jacket cover is a different version than any pictured here because it is a hard cover first edition published in 1952 by Henry Holt and Co, New York. I have had this copy for many years but this is the first time to read it.

The overall feeling I got from the book was one of sadness....David Canaan is a brilliant child and man but just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere with family or friends. His mind works overtime and he seems to be always at odds in whatever situation he is in. Perhaps i
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Literary Fiction, Vintage, Canadian author, Atlantic Canadian)

Published in 1952, this is an Atlantic Canadian classic and is set in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, in the years leading up to WWII.

It’s the story of three generations of the Canaan family, particularly David Canaan of the last generation, and illustrates the eternal struggle between generations and the subsequent breakdown of families.
For example, while David and his father are working together outside, David’s father thinks
A.  Reviewer
I really wanted to like The Mountain and the Valley . The descriptions are picturesque: I could see, hear, taste, smell and touch the beautiful landscape of the Annapolis Valley. The problem is... this book is a drag. I had lost my empathy towards the main character, David early on in the novel. His journey throughout life was utterly dull and stagnant. Eventually, when it came time for the ending, I just closed the book and moved on with my life with very little emotional impact.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was alright, I mean, as alright as a novel provided by a university course could be. Rarely do they choose something of interest, so I guess this is as interesting as these books are going to get. The book certainly came full-circle at the end, the mountain being a critical symbol of many things in David's life.
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
It might be because it was my English CPT novel but I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I guess the third person narrative helps some novels but not this novel. The prologues and epilogues were the best unnaturally.
Garth Mailman
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
About the most quintessentially Nova Scotian Book I have ever read.
Amy Bird
Confusing and startling. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the most hauntingly beautiful books I have ever read of how our lives are wasted in dreaming and never actualized.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: b-hum, canadian, fiction
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read it in uni and loved it.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Nothing happened in this book. The point of the book is that stuff happens to everyone but the main character. Actually zero plot. Only read it because I finish books I start.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a high school Can lit class, and it has stayed with me for many years. Beautiful descriptive writing, at times a bit dense, but well worth the read.
Patricia Boyle
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love Ernest Buckler stories and all stories about the west.
A Wallace
rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2015
Morgan Johns
rated it it was ok
Jan 24, 2014
rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2009
Connie Lirette
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2017
William Sarty
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2017
Fred Ann
rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jun 13, 2011
rated it really liked it
May 14, 2016
Heather Chappell
rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2017
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