On the Rocks

On the Rocks The year is and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan an island in the Bay of Fundy In their cottage s sparsely furnished attic ro

  • Title: On the Rocks
  • Author: Sue Hallgarth
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 171
  • Format: None
  • The year is 1929 and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy In their cottage s sparsely furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove Out oThe year is 1929 and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy In their cottage s sparsely furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below Solving the mystery, first time novelist Sue Hallgarth s intimate view of village politics and the goings on of two women s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American Cather fans will enjoy the atmosphere, and Hallgarth captures the local color well, providing a look at the eccentric island residents, the small town politics, and the life of the two women s communities ALA BooklistOne of the top ten Titles to Pick up Now O, The Oprah Magazine

    One thought on “On the Rocks”

    1. The mystery was so-so, but the characterization of Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis was quite moving. I also loved the descriptions of the island in the Bay of Fundy. Very much enjoyed the author's use of the history of the island and its two summer colonies of independent women.

    2. The writer described this as a "cozy mystery" and that's probably accurate-- it's not like the stakes are super-low, since there is a murder in the very beginning of the book, and the mild threat of further violence flares up periodically, the mystery is solved at the leisurely pace of a country hike, and as it turns out, the world isn't so evil after all, or at least this one corner of it, Grand Manaan Island.The most interesting parts of this book probably aren't the mystery-- the representati [...]

    3. The writing is clunky at times and there are "information dumps" regarding details of Cather's life and work, however, the strength of the book is in Hallgarth's ability to paint a scene. Her research about Grand Manan, Cather & Lewis, and the time period are obviously top notch. I enjoyed little tidbits she added such as the hot read for tourists of that 1926 summer season being All Quiet on the Western Front or how United States federal agents "had taken to [accidentally] shooting innocent [...]

    4. (Fiction, Mystery, 1930s American setting) 2.5 star ratingWell, actually, this story is set on Grand Manaan Island which is really Canadian, but the holiday community, at least for the summer discussed, is composed of Americans."On the Rocks" can’t decide whether it’s a fictional mystery featuring American writer Willa Cather, or a non-fiction biography of Cather. It leans to the biography side which results in a complicated and nearly senseless mystery.Read this if: you’d enjoy a fictiona [...]

    5. Hallgarth's knowledge of and affection for Cather and Lewis, add a depth to this well written mystery novel. I was intrigued by the way the author transformed her scholarship into the novel form. I also enjoyed the evocation of these women's communities on Grand Manan, an Island in the bay of Fundy. The book is beautifully produced, with photos and drawings which add another dimension to the reader's imagined visit to this other place and time. I would argue that these "real" illustrations both [...]

    6. Nice read with a beautiful portrait of a Canadian island in the 1920s, a strong feminist portrait of Willa Cather and her partner Edith, and a murder mystery to boot! Well written with some beautifully "painted" scenes and an intriguing insight to the way we all tend to think, wandering from one association to another before we catch ourselves! I've never seen that in a book before and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    7. Since Willa Cather is my all time favorite author I was eager to read this book.I'm not a big fan of the murder mystery genre. I love to read a good book that doesn't include murder. The writing style is somewhat stiff, it took me quite awhile to really engage with the story. The character development was slow or lacking but I did enjoy the last hundred or so pages and really got into the story at that point. All in all a good first book.

    8. It was great to learn of the women's summer colonies, but the back and forth between paragraphs of the different threads made it difficult for me to follow. I often could not discern who was speaking.

    9. A mystery novel featuring Willa Cather, taking place at her summer cottage in New Brunswick. Lots of information about Cather and her friends, as well as New Brunswick rural life in the 1920's. The mystery wasn't that engrossing. Generally enjoyable.

    10. Big chunks of irrelevant "brain dumps" of information that I felt did not add to the plot or character development. Actual mystery was "meh". Really read like it was three different books that were thrown into a Cuisinart and the remains were printed.

    11. Good sense of time and place and a group of fascinating characters but many information dumps that interrupt the flow of the mystery at the beginning. Read it for insight into strong women finding ground to stand on and the women's "colonies" on Grand Manan Island.

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