Sunday, November 15, 2009

113. This House of Sky by Ivan Doig

Let me start by saying that I loved Doig's English Creek.  And House of Sky contains the same lyrical, breathtaking prose and cowboy realism.  After getting his PHD in history, Doig decides instead to write a book about his father, a Montana sheeprancher; and his grandmother, the mother of Doig's mother who died when he was six.  The two have a hate/dislike relationship but overlook that in the interests of raising Ivan.  Still, they're both quite the characters.  I learned a lot about sheep ranching, enough to confirm that sheep really are stupid animals and a lot of work.  I learned that a family can live with so little, overcome so much; and still develop that binding love that remains with you all your life.  As I said, Doig writes beautifully and tells a good story.  However, midway through the book, I lost a little interest.  The final scenes were pretty gut-wrenching and I was glad to have Kleenex close by.  While I didn't like House nearly as much as Creek; I'm still looking forward to reading the rest of Doig's books which are sitting on the shelf.  I classified these as western literature.  If you like the great outdoors, ranching, horses, tough men and tougher women; you should read this book.
Rating:  4

1 comment:

  1. I have three of Doig's books (Heart Earth, English Creek, and Mountain Time), but have yet to read any of them. My mom's a big fan and said The Whistling Season is pretty good, too. I plan to take time, in the coming year, to read more of the books that have been lurking on my shelves. These books of Doig's have been here for several years!