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A Country Called Home #2020

A Country Called Home With her acclaimed memoir In the Wilderness Kim Barnes brought us to the great forests of Idaho where geography and isolation shape love and family Now in her luminous new novel she returns to this

  • Title: A Country Called Home
  • Author: Kim Barnes
  • ISBN: 9780307268952
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Country Called Home By Kim Barnes, With her acclaimed memoir In the Wilderness Kim Barnes brought us to the great forests of Idaho, where geography and isolation shape love and family Now, in her luminous new novel, she returns to this territory, offering a powerful tale of hope and idealism, faith and madness.It is 1960 when Thomas Deracotte and his pregnant wife, Helen, abandon a guaranteed future in uppWith her acclaimed memoir In the Wilderness Kim Barnes brought us to the great forests of Idaho, where geography and isolation shape love and family Now, in her luminous new novel, she returns to this territory, offering a powerful tale of hope and idealism, faith and madness.It is 1960 when Thomas Deracotte and his pregnant wife, Helen, abandon a guaranteed future in upper crust Connecticut and take off for a utopian adventure in the Idaho wilderness They buy a farm sight unseen and find the buildings collapsed, the fields in ruins But they have a tent, a river full of fish, and acres overgrown with edible berries and dandelion greens Helen learns to make coffee over a fire as they set about rebuilding the house Though Thomas discovers he can t wield a hammer or an ax, there is a local boy, Manny a sweet soul of eighteen without a family of his own who agrees to manage the fields in exchange for room and board Their optimism and desire carry them through the early days.But the sudden, frightening birth of Thomas and Helen s daughter, Elise, changes something deep inside their marriage And then, in the aftermath of a tragic accident to which only Manny bears witness, suspicion, anger, and regret come to haunt this shattered family It is a legacy Elise will inherit and struggle with, until she ultimately finds a hope of her own In this extraordinary novel, Kim Barnes reminds us of what it means to be young and in love, to what lengths people will go to escape loneliness, and the redemption found in family.

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      Published :2019-09-07T05:09:19+00:00

    1 thought on “A Country Called Home

    1. I found this one a bit overwrought but still compelling and effective in shaking up my expectations It s a dark parable of an urban couple from Connecticut moving to the wilds of Idaho in the 60 s and finding themselves unprepared for the challenges they encounter, with tragic consequences Thomas is a newly minted doctor with limited dedication to the profession and only seems to be happy when he is fishing His young wife Helen longs to be a free spirit in response to the expectations of her wea [...]

    2. A rebellious young married couple from Connecticut make the decision to buy property in Idaho and start an idealized life Thomas, who has just finished his training as a physician in 1960, really has no desire to be a doctor and only wants to fish in the pristine streams near his Idaho property He s a dreamer who possesses few practical life skills and is uneasy dealing with other people Helen is a free spirit who is uninterested in the conventional life of her wealthy parents, but who finds her [...]

    3. The blurb writer did not read this book No hope, no idealism, no luminous No home No country for that matter The Idaho wilderness is the bass note humming in your ears, while every single character conducts the symphony of grief unhealed, pain itching under skin, suffering oozing, regret tasted but not swallowed, the earth itself alternately boiling mud or verdant trap Pounding, relentless misery like having stones piled on your chest until you can t breathe There is not even a dog grinning here [...]

    4. This is the most melodramatic book I have ever read I am mystified by all the starred reviews it s gotten The writing was good, but the plotline was over the top and the characters motivations were, for the most part, a mystery.

    5. I love this novel We have five viewpoint characters, and it s from each ones point of view that they become sympathetic Consequently you find yourself pulling for each one Helen, Thomas, Manny, Elise, and Lucas.Three come from broken families or no families at all Helen, however, breaks from her privileged past to pursue her chosen path, with a man her mother cannot approve of She and Thomas make their home in rural Idaho where he sets up a medical practice but prefers to practice fishing Manny, [...]

    6. I used to live in a town in Colorado where many hippies moved in the 70s so they could get back to the land They lived in a variety of yurts, teepees, or log cabins and tried to grow all their food and can and freeze enough to make it through the year I wasn t that hardy I just dabbled in making jams from the apricots and cherries that grew in orchards all around the valley But I always enjoyed visiting my friends farms, and occasionally, farm sitting.So I was intrigued by the back to the land t [...]

    7. Complicated love story of two, a free spirit and one who thinks she is Their child and her development, which was rather stunted because of where they lived and her father s lassitude The local orphan boy who seems to know lots about everythingand actually raises Elise,acting like a father than Thomas Dr Kalinsky is an interesting character, too.Doesn t have the regular elements of a family.Unusual the way author use the opening and closing to connect all of the elements of this story.Did enjoy [...]

    8. Good story and some strong characters, but Derracotte the husband father dragged down the plot Honestly, the story would have been better without him When I finished this novel my first thought was what a dope No wonder his wife was unfaithful and took a horrible risk that took her life No wonder no one wanted to see him as a doctor, he obviously didn t care about people And no wonder his daughter was so messed up It s a wonder why Manny stuck it out with him for 16 years All he wanted to do was [...]

    9. University of Idaho professor and author, Kim Barnes, crafts a beautiful setting for a sad, dark tale of a couple who fail to discover their idyllic life in rural Northern Idaho Tragedy besets the characters Three weeks after reading this novel, I ve decided it did reflect real life, though not life as my poly Anna outlook desires I m glad I read A Country Called Home and will add Barnes most recently released novel to my reading list.

    10. I read this book for my book club It was an o.k read It switched between 4 main characters The story moved along pretty well There was only one protagonist that I liked, Manny The book was pretty well written, but the ending was a little ridiculous which kind of took away a little from the good writing throughout the majority of the book I have a pet peeve for stories that make a woman or a man out to be so wonderful that 2 men or women just can t get on with their lives.

    11. Incredible read It was quick but very intense Both sad and uplifting at the same time I am anxious to read of Kim Barnes books She is also a local, she teaches at U of I and lives on Moscow Mountain.

    12. Although very depressing, this is an emotional book of disfunctional people trying to eek out life in the wildness of the mountainness and river country of Idaho a place I, also, call home There is something about the peacefulness of a river and wildlife around that brings one closer to the edge of one s soul It calls us when times are tough, as so with this book Rich girl marries a young Doctor, just starting out, and they have a tough time of it, but with advantages few people get There suppor [...]

    13. Not really a romance nor a mystery yet it has elements of both A different look on relationships between close friends and family members There is a difference in interpersonal contact in small towns versus metropolitan living Well worth reading.

    14. spotted on the shelf at my library while teaching yoga It may end up my 1 choice for 2017 I need to explore of this author s work.

    15. It isn t easy for an author to make me cry even once, but Kim Barnes as done it again in this book from 2008 In 1960, fresh out of medical school, Thomas Delacotte takes his wife and love of his life, Helen to a hardscrabble property he has bought sight unseen in Idaho Inspired by Hemingway s Nick Adams stories, he envisions a simple life away from the pressures of Connecticut and his wife s wealthy family where he can spend what turns out to be most of his time fishing, hunting for wild greens [...]

    16. It s nearly ridiculous, how good Kim Barnes work is I mean, you read her nonfiction, which is nothing short of amazing, and you think, There s no way her fiction could even come close Then it does what a gifted writer.From the moment I read the short prologue which reads like prose poetry I knew I was going to love this book Barnes writes beautifully, both about people and her beloved Idaho wilderness, without being overly sentimental or flowery Her words have a rugged quality to them I usually [...]

    17. Again, wishing for an I loved it star But this time I went up instead of down The lyricism certainly was not lacking Nothing lacking Great story I couldn t put it down I guess there was just a lot that was pretty similar to In the Wilderness And why not Same geography, some of the same time periods covered The fishing, the religion all well portrayed, but very clear when you ve read someone s memoir just what parts are autobiographical And man alive, too much smoking I mean, I don t have any pro [...]

    18. This somewhat difficult to read novel was a very sad story, but beautifully rendered Loving writing about Idahos wilderness and one of its small town I just finished this book You know when I sit down mid day and read it is a book I like Although like may not be the correct word for such a sad and dark story And gritty would be another good descriptor.I had put off finishing the book until late afternoon because I was afraid of how it was going to end But the author managed a sensitive and meani [...]

    19. An idealistic and romantic young couple, Thomas and Helen, move to the Idaho countryside to provide the nearby villagers with a doctor and to enjoy a peaceful idyll but Helen becomes bored and unhappy when her husband seems to fish all day rather than practice medicine or spend time with her and baby Elise A tragedy means that Elise grows up with just her distant dad and handyman Manny as company, and her lack of knowledge about the world or herself lands her in a mental hospital at the tender a [...]

    20. I really enjoyed the style of this book Barnes doesn t overuse her talent for analogies and is able to describe the feelings and perceptions of her characters wonderfully She writes indirectly from the perspective of several different characters throughout the book, never revealing too many details as she takes us through their story Their viewpoints overlap just enough to provide a complete picture of the rural area they live in, but their personal stories and perceptions vary so widely as to r [...]

    21. Ah, I just loved this book I m always a sucker for tragic love stories It really speaks to how right we attempt to make things and the enormity of just how wrong they can go I was easily drawn into the story of this young couple who moves to a small town in Idaho trying to make a life, and a similarly young man who comes to experience this with them and quickly gets caught up in and becomes part of their tragedy Loved it Barnes is a great writer a few parts, though, we re a bit just a bit overki [...]

    22. I don t really like writing this flowery and dramatic, with all the bugs, birds and plants described way over the top But in spite of the somewhat pompous writing, I must say this is a good book It had a beginning, a middle and an end which all made sense, even had some transformation of characters, which I always like I started reading this before finishing the last book The Fiction Writer and finished this one pretty quickly I recommend it for its excellent story and character development.

    23. Kim Barnes is a professor the U of I set this story in Idaho Helen marries a doctor they envision a romantic life on a rundown farm, but Thomas loves the river, the land the Notion than he actually loves her A hired hand, Manny, must try salvage the farm they know nothing about running it, or a marriage And things change after a difficult birth Manny s relationship with Helen, Thomas, their daughter Elise who he ends up raising I enjoyed the writing A powerful story of love, loss, friendship lo [...]

    24. Didn t think I was going to like this book at first, but it grew on me A bit Wallace Stegner ish in its style well developed characters, the importance of fly fishing, lyrical writing Update on 4 13 09 I ve downgraded my rating overnight the last half of the book was good, and would have been a good short story on its own But the first half of the book suffered from undeveloped characters I didn t find the main character the doctor or his wife compelling in fact, I just wanted them to go away.

    25. I saw Kim Barnes read when she was in the UK a couple of years ago and bought this book on the strength of that Barnes s writing is gorgeous, loaded with beautiful and poetic imagery but never flowery , her characterisation is really strong and her stories compelling This is great literary writing with not a word out of place I came to care about the characters even as they were failing in their various ways I won t give away the plot this book is too good You should read it for yourself.

    26. Kim Barnes has such lovely, poetic prose She would have earned five stars except that she teaches at U of I I read Kim s two memoirs, and loved them, but I hadn t realized until recently that she also has two fiction books out A Country Called Home harkens back to her own child hood, and I see herself and her family very much in her fictional characters I would definitely recommend this book

    27. From the book The train s whistle drifts downriver Manny rests his head in his hands as it passes, his breath catching in the engine s wake He wishes that his life made as much sense as the pistons powering the rockers that turned the wheels that pulled the load toward such sure destinations He wishes he had held her for a moment longer, long enough to tell her all that she was, and, to him, everything.

    28. This book is from Kim Barnes at the University of Idaho who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for another novel in 1997 At first I was depressed as I began reading it because there is alot that is depressing about the storyline and there are several tragedies throughout the book I did, however, get sucked in by the characters I really liked the way the author described theme made me see the layers This is one that might make a good book club selection.

    29. I grabbed this book while in line at the library I am so glad I did The river that flows through the setting is a lovely metaphor for the story The ending was perfect in its imperfection It didn t really end No tidy wrap up no conclusion To me, a good ending is key to a good book Loss and Lack were main features so heart rending I have a lingering feeling that I really do not understand Grief.

    30. I first heard Kim read from this novel at Whitman College a few years ago and just finished reading it yesterday Wow WOW Beautifully constructed with a few major twists that are gorgeous I hope to write something this beautiful some day.The copy editor may have fallen asleep toward the end a few left out words and the character Elise s name appeared as Elsie at least once Frustrating moments in an otherwise fine book.

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