Our Homesick Songs

Our Homesick Songs

Large Print - 2018
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From Emma Hooper, critically acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine "Pick of the Week," comes a lyrical, charming, and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction, and the different way each of them fights to keep hope, memory, and love alive.The Connor family is one of the few that is still left in their idyllic fishing village, Big Running; after the fish mysteriously disappeared, most families had no choice but to relocate and find work elsewhere. Aidan and Martha Connor now spend alternate months of the year working at an energy site up north to support their children, Cora and Finn. But soon the family fears they'll have to leave Big Running for good. And as the months go on, plagued by romantic temptations new and old, the emotional distance between the once blissful Aidan and Martha only widens. Between his accordion lessons and reading up on Big Running's local flora and fauna, eleven-year-old Finn Connor develops an obsession with solving the mystery of the missing fish. Aided by his reclusive music instructor Mrs. Callaghan, Finn thinks he may have discovered a way to find the fish, and in turn, save the only home he's ever known. While Finn schemes, his sister Cora spends her days decorating the abandoned houses in Big Running with global flair--the baker's home becomes Italy; the mailman's, Britain. But it's clear she's desperate for a bigger life beyond the shores of her small town. As the streets of Big Running continue to empty Cora takes matters--and her family's shared destinies--into her own hands. In Our Homesick Songs, Emma Hooper paints a gorgeous portrait of the Connor family, brilliantly weaving together four different stories and two generations of Connors, full of wonder and hope. Told in Hooper's signature ethereal style, each page of this incandescent novel glows with mythical, musical wonder.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company,, 2018
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781432856939
Branch Call Number: LP FIC HOO
Characteristics: 443 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print.,rda

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m
ms_mustard
Jun 30, 2019

a wonderful story full of music and imagination
I was caught in the net and buoyed by the songs

o
orangelibrarycard
Mar 06, 2019

The typesetting was strange. It’s even shorter than it looks because some pages have just a few sentences. It goes without quotes for dialogue, which I’ve noticed more and more in books. The ultra-simple dialogue balances out the feats by the kids, which are alarming and advanced… adventurous, (but it’s a book, so ok.) Much of the children's activities are just because there is no helicopter parenting. It goes back and forth in time, but the chapters are labeled with the year, so you don’t have to puzzle it out. It's about adventure, music, fishing, mermaids, the natural world. It makes me want to go to Canada. She only has two books and I’ve read them, so what next?

j
jedabug
Feb 09, 2019

Currently my favorite book, a lyrical story with a strong sense of place. For those who liked the “Snow Child” this story has a mythical feel, weaving together the tales of two generations of one of the last families on the island of Big Running in Nova Scotia. These resilient characters will linger in your mind after the last page like the stanzas of a beloved song.

ontherideau Dec 30, 2018

Enjoyable story of tenacity, the ties that bind and the soul of music that many cultures have forgotten or cast aside.

liljables Nov 20, 2018

Our Homesick Songs is as haunting and beautiful as its title. I loved the narrative structure - we move back and forth between the early 1990s and the 1970s, when Aidan and Martha were growing up in the neighbouring communities of Big and Little Running. Their coming-of-age stories have a touch of magical realism woven into the folk songs sung by young Aidan, providing an effective contrast to the stark reality of their family's situation two decades later, when the cod moratorium has made their community into a ghost town. Both narratives are light on dialogue but heavy on introspection; the writing is lyrical, atmospheric, and evocative, and although this story has no shortage of sadness, its characters are buoyed up by hope, and each other.

f
fangger
Nov 19, 2018

I loved this story. It was sad but heart warming and gave an excellent view into what life was like when the cod stopped coming and it’s impact on one of the families left in a tiny coastal village.

h
harrissusanc
Oct 22, 2018

It’s 1992 in Little Running, Newfoundland, and there’s a moratorium on the cod that supported Finn Connor’s family. His mother leaves to work the rigs, his father, too, and he and his sister stay, for a while, and tell the enchanting story in poetry’s rhythms and in homes imagined as far away places. Homesickness is for those days before the oil slick and the floating bergs. Heartwarming music.

t
Tara_P
Sep 07, 2018

This book is about a family of four-mother, father, a grade school-aged boy and a 14-year-old girl-that is desperately fraying apart echoing the demise of their small fishing village, now bereft of fish. I found it beautiful and heartbreaking and often frustrating to stumble along with each of the family members as they made their efforts to save the each other. A parallel storyline gives the background of the parents and how they came together to create the family. It adds depth to the present-time struggles by depicting the risks taken by them in committing to each other. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a well-crafted story that is emotionally evocative.

d
dianne_runnels
Aug 26, 2018

Novel about a family in Newfoundland. Well reviewed by CS Monitor 8/18

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