❴EPUB❵ ✺ February Author Lisa Moore – Saudionline.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 310 pages
  • February
  • Lisa Moore
  • English
  • 21 January 2019
  • 9780887842023

10 thoughts on “February

  1. says:

    I have been waiting for a new book by Lisa Moore and this did not disappoint I read slowly right from the start, so that I could absorb each essential phrase, to appreciate how one sentence moved to the next, to marvel at a particular paragraph, or to pause at the end of a subsection to reflect on the way Lisa Moore had crafted a scene February is a fictional story about how one Newfoundland family of five deals with the loss of husband and father Cal, in the real life tragic sinking of the offshore rig, the OCEAN RANGER, on Valentine s Day, 1982 The main characters are wife Helen, eldest child and only son John, and, in flashback scenes, Cal Secondary characters are Helen s sister Louise Jane, connected to John and John s three younger siblings Lulu, Cathy, and Gabrielle Then there is Barry, the man who not only renovates the house, including choosing the correct paint, but eventually alters Helen s life Like a watercolour painting, Moore builds layer upon layer to build the story from its foundation to its final coming together Part one begins November 2008 with son John phoning his mother from Singapore He asks her Have you ever tried to figure out the difference between what you are, and what you have to become This is essentially the theme of the novel Then Moore whisks us to February 14, 1982 when the OCEAN RANGER begins to sink John and Helen are presented as affected by the loss than his three sisters Back again to John, as Jane, the woman he spent a week with seven months ago, informs him she is pregnant This is the present time story line His mother would force him to do the right thing, whatever that was She would know. But the heart of the book chronicles Helen s decades long grief over the loss of her husband Flash back to 2008 and her delivery of Gabrielle, the youngest child, born after Dad drowned at sea Then, Call me when you get to New York, his mother said We ll talk about the baby. Moore has created an interesting structure here Five sections are broken into subheads with titles, including dates for each Most of the story takes place during 2008 June, August, October and November not in order, and mostly in November The rest slips back to 1972 75 78 80 82 87 95 97 emphasis on February, 1982, but again, not chronological And finally, the fifth part takes place in January and February 2009 The book s release date was June 1, 2009 The writing is also interesting Lisa Moore writes the way we often think, with thoughts jumping at random As with the structure, this semi stream of consciousness style is a very effective way to draw us in and really experience Helen s grief At times, Helen s view of the past and the present reflect a distorted view of reality thoughts that create images like one of those carnival mirrors Except that rather than comic, often the optical feeling effect is of multiple parts, missing parts, huge parts memories can loom large, or have pieces missing, or be jumbled together The present can be distorted by memories of the past Juxtapose this with clarity of vision that is so startling it can leave the reader gasping With such structure and writing style, one might think the story would be difficult to follow On the contrary it serves to add breadth and depth of feeling, of sensory detail, of the moment to moment momentum of observation, as when her father in law phones to tell her he d identified Cal Helen lost her peripheral vision She could see a spot about the size of a dime in a field of black She tried to focus on the surface of the kitchen table It was a varnished pine table they d bought at a yard sale, and in that little circle she could see the grain of wood and a glare of overhead light She had willed the spot to open wider so she could take in the bowl with the apples and the side of the fridge and the linoleum, and then the window and the garden Her scalp was tingling and a drip of sweat ran from her hairline down her temple Her face was damp with sweat as if she d been running. Which brings me to the use of light as a motif, starting with the very first lines Helen watches as the man touches the skate blade to the sharpener There is a stainless steel cone to catch the spray of orange sparks that fly up. Here is Helen, up at 4 00 a.m., on the night the rig began to list, though she doesn t know that yet There s a storm happening outside But then a plow came down over the hill and it was bleating and the revolving light on the top of the cab struck the frosted window and Helen could see thousands of crackles and crystals and grey shimmer burning as white as flashbulb, violet white, just for an instant, burning so fiercely it hurt somewhere behind her eyes.It hurt somewhere deep in her skull It felt as though the light had pierced her, gone through, and the mad design of the frost, infinitely curling in on itself, had been printed on her retina It felt like a puncture A rapture the light hitting the frost at that second had refracted, each minute crystal a hall of mirrors, so that the intensity was hugely magnified. If only I could quote three pages here, because it all ties in with her being pregnant and leaving a pot burning on the stove, and hurling the pot outside into the snow and dreaming of Cal, and being afraid.February is the shortest month of the year but it often seems the longest, at least in parts of Canada, when winter can be unrelenting will February never end Helen s grief is relentless for twenty six years For me, Helen s grief was an intimate experience at once familiar and fresh at the same time It may sound contradictory, but it never seemed morose there was beauty in Helen s memories, in her grieving In writing this story, Moore knew that she had to reveal glimpses of the intense love Helen and Cal shared so that we could understand how much Helen had really lost The bright flame of their love extinguished in a flash when Cal died, plunging Helen into an inward life of loneliness, of darkness But like the seasons, in the end, Helen cycles back to emerge from the dark into light once February is a passionately crafted story that rang true to me, true to life.


  2. says:

    The oil rig Ocean Ranger began to sink off the coast of Newfoundland on Valentine s Day 1982 The rig was gone, and every man on it perished in the stormy disaster by the next day Helen O Mara was left with three children, and a fourth on the way, when her beloved Cal died Somehow Helen had picked up the idea that there was such a thing as love, and she had invested fully in it She had summoned everything she was, every little tiny scrap of herself, and she d handed it over to Cal and said This is yours.It wasn t just dumb luck that Cal knew what the gift was worth that s why she gave it to him in the first place She could tell he was the kind of guy who would know 49 Grief and love are all wrapped up in each other in this book The story goes back and forth between the present and the memories of Helen and her eldest child John Themes of death and birth are strong with Cal s death followed by the birth of their fourth child, and a later subplot about the February birth of John s child.Lisa Moore s writing is sensuous and real She brings the reader into the characters bodies and minds to experience all the love, numbing grief, and other emotions that life can bring.


  3. says:

    I tried.I wanted to like this book My goal this year was to read each of the five Canada Reads choices, so that I could follow along with the CBC debates These were supposed to be quintessential Canadian novels the cream of the crop.Perhaps I made a mistake in trying to read this during February itself the most grey, depressing time of year here Maybe in the summer I will try again In the meantime though, there was so much I just could not like the main characters frustrated me, I found the portrait of the widow mother to be heavy handed I get it, I thought, over and over again She s a widow, the whole thing is tragic Yes, yes, she s been very stoic And then the complete lack of quotation marks Again, I get it the author clearly wants us to look at the story as though we were looking through the lens of a camera, or leafing through old photos Perhaps it s my own prejudice, or being far too much of a stickler for grammar, but damn it, use the punctuation you were given as a writer It s not stylish , not bold it just makes your prose difficult to read, and is distracting to boot I m against the vandalism of library books but ye gods I wanted so badly to take a red pen to the whole thing.


  4. says:

    Some may say that this is a book about death or life or love, but for me this is a book about the ifs and the whens The plot is irrelevant because whatever the plot is it is only the plot because of the perspective from which the story is told It is a story of moments, the ifs and whens of one woman s life, and those moments, unrelated but for the woman who experienced them, are the tale.February is a novel of fragments And in those fragments is one of the truest stories I ve ever read.I ve read better from Lisa Moore very slightly better , but there are few and only a few authors who can write as well as Moore on her worst day let alone her best And this book is from one of her very good days.I can t see this being a book that I would read again, but I loved the journey, and I would recommend it to anyone who d like to spend a few days living a life with someone worth knowing.


  5. says:

    Brilliantly constructed vision of one woman s grief in the wake of her husbands death, when the oil rig he works on sinks into the sea, leaving her regnant and with three children to raise.Interspersed with her stages of grief, is the call from her son John, flying back from Tasmania via New York bearing news that he is to become a father for the first time, a role he has spent all his adult years avoiding, until a chance week in Iceland with Jane, a woman who had been equally set on avoiding becoming a mother.It was never overly melancholic, although Helen s recollections and reconstructions of what may have happened to her husband in those last minutes, her studying of the manuals to understand how to resolve the problem that caused the sinking reminded me somewhat of Joan Didion s The Year of Magical Thinking 2005 , however life continues around Helen and those narratives reminded me of the work of Anne Tyler, and so we seesaw between the practical elements of daily life and the introspection of a death that stays with someone their entire life and in those still moments, returns as potently, as if it were yesterday.Highly recommended.


  6. says:

    Solitude, she thinks, is a time release drug it enters the system slowly and you can become addicted It s not an addiction, it is a craft On Valentine s Day 1982, the Ocean Ranger, an assumed to be unsinkable oil rig, sank during a vicious storm out in the North Atlantic Thirty years later the tragic events of that night still resonate deeply with the affected communities of Newfoundland Families lost fathers, brothers, sons and lovers during a night when hope and prayers for a miracle turned into despair and grief all eighty four crew were lost, either on board or in the ice cold water Newfoundland award winning author, Lisa Moore s 2009 novel February fictionalizes the deep physical and emotional shockwaves in the aftermath of the disaster by telling the story of one widow, her profound grief and the long lasting scars on her soul while putting all her energy into bringing up her family and healing herself Lisa Moore s heroine, Helen, thirty at the time of the disaster, was robbed of her husband Cal, the love of her young life, the breadwinner for their young family with three small children with a fourth on the way Much of the story is set in 2008, yet with Helen s mind often wandering back to that fateful night in 1982, the innocent years prior to the disaster and the many years since Helen reflects on her emotional state of mind at the time as being outside The best way to describe what she felt She was banished Banished from everyone and from herself Still, the daily life had to go on while grief and pain were kept locked into the inner folds of her mind Helen wanted the children to think that she was on the inside, with them The outside was an ugly truth that she planned to keep to herself Grief, as we know it, is unique to each person, intimately personal and not always easy to understand for others Moore s capacity to capture and express the individuality of Helen s grieving in a way that we as readers can relate to it in our own personal ways, speaks to the quality and thoughtfulness of her writing In 2009, I have to admit, this was not a book that I wanted to read, given my own recent loss, but four years later, I can appreciate Helen s story and the winding and twisting process of her coming to terms with her grief and her life February is in no way a sad or depressing book Moore brings enough detail to Helen s life moving forward to keep the reader supportively engaged Helen is surrounded by her three daughters and John, her oldest John is a major character in the novel and we follow his growing up from the ten year old at the time of the disaster to a young man who develops his own means to deal with loss The image of the absent father is well developed through John s and Helen s recollections As a result, Cal remains very much a part of the novel Even after many years, Helen s mind keeps returning to the night of the disaster Not knowing what really happened in the last hours of Cal s and his mates lives, does not let her rest What did they know and understand of the crisis They all knew they weren t safe They all knew But they had decided not to tell anyone But it leaked out of them in larks and pranks and smutty puns, and it leaked sometimes out in a loneliness that made phone calls from land hard to handle February is not a chronological account of Helen s efforts to get back on her feet Not at all Like memories and dreams, the narration jumps timelines, joining unrelated events or triggering sudden vivid images Moore s narrative flows from the present in 2008 to 1982, the other still vivid present, to times before and in between Sometimes her chapter dates give you an indication where we are, often, though, she relies on the reader to figure out where Helen s mind is at that moment And, with a bit of reading into the novel, you do Moore has a subtle and compassionate way to convey her character s story At times, her writing structure reminded me of a puzzle, where, unexpectedly, one small piece , be it somebody s gesture or the colour of the ocean on a misty night, connects several until then unconnected images and a broader perspective falls into place Overall, this is a beautifully developed and affecting story, set in a broader context that is relevant as much today as it was then Some of the side stories seem to be than complementing the central story and distracted to some degree The novel s ending may not be to everybody s liking, but these, in the end, are minor irritants.


  7. says:

    I really connected with this story, the writing was fantastic and I was completely drawn in.


  8. says:

    This book languished in a stack on a to be read shelf for almost two years, squashed between a Julian Barnes below and some short story anthology above It was 31 years ago on Valentine s Day that the Ocean Ranger oil rig sank off the coast of Newfoundland, killing all aboard.31 years later, on Valentine s Day yesterday, February won the Canada Reads award Oh crap, now the masses will like it, it will be popular, and often than not that means the writing sucks, but jeez, it s Lisa Moore, she s a good writer She has cred I kept putting it off, fearing the mawkishness that was sure to fill the pages of a book about a widow of one of the dead crewmen But that s not how it turned out This isn t about wallowing in grief and outrage It rises above that The narrative skips around in time, both directly and indirectly as memories and dreams This seems ideal for this type of story, because the present is so pregnant with the past Very slowly the widow Helen begins to weave the future into her existence The structure, the architecture were great, but what I enjoyed the most was Moore s expressive prose The effortless hyper realism of her descriptions brought it to life, and overarching it all were quiet wisdoms and simple but profound insights Lovely.


  9. says:

    FEBRUARY is a story of real people people who love, laugh, argue,shop at WalMart and Value Village and raise their children in the bestway that they know how.FEBRUARY is also a story of loss and grief grief that is not of themoment, but rather of the decades It is the story of threegenerations Helen O Mara and her husband Cal who perished with theOcean Ranger, their four children John, Cathy, Lulu and Gabrielle and their children.The novel has a complex structure where the past and present blend sometimes within a single sentence The past, the sinking of the OceanRanger in 1984, continually intrudes upon the present as Helen lives herlife under a cloud of grief and survivor guilt.But Lisa Moore does not allow her characters to wallow in their griefnor does her book at any time descend into sentimentality Hercharacters are tough as befits the reputation of Newfoundlanders HelenO Mara and her children work through their daily battles and emergestronger human beings.This is a wonderful book of courage and sacrifice The reader will comeaway from it with a renewed sense of hope and faith in the future.


  10. says:

    In February Lisa Moore drives me to distraction with her dialog No one has conversations Words are just launching pads to daytime reveries and thoughtful meanderings That ll stain if you don t get at it Helen loved her kids Maybe John best of all He was far flung and wide ranging and here follows a page and a half recounting of a failed attempt to put together a crib and a story of a dog running in the wet sand Maybe a little water will set it right Another page and a half likely shot through with rich metaphor and deeply layered meaning that I read as a buying groceries is hard I would read the hell out of a Lisa Moore short story She could write about a mother walking with her son through winter snow She would capture the way the light hits the snow, flattening the shadows and it would be so damn Canadian I swear I d be able to hear the Hinterland Who s Who theme With an entire book I find myself admiring individual pages beautifully rendered but finding the ending to simply be the absence of additional pages to read.


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Februarycharacters February, audiobook February, files book February, today February, February 416d1 Winner Of Canada Reads And Longlisted For The Man Booker PrizeIn , The Oil Rig Ocean Ranger Sank Off The Coast Of Newfoundland During A Valentine S Day Storm All Eighty Four Men Aboard Died February Is The Story Of Helen O Mara, One Of Those Left Behind When Her Husband, Cal, Drowns On The Rig It Begins In The Present Day, Than Twenty Five Years Later, But Spirals Back Again And Again To The February That Persists In Helen S Mind And HeartWriting At The Peak Of Her Form, Her Steadfast Refusal To Sentimentalize Coupled With An Almost Shocking Ability To Render The Precise Details Of Her Characters Physical And Emotional Worlds, Lisa Moore Gives Us Her Strongest Work Yet Here Is A Novel About Complex Love And Cauterizing Grief, About Past And Present And How Memory Knits Them Together, About A Fiercely Close Community And Its Universal Struggles, And Finally About Our Need To Imagine A Future, No Matter How Fragile, Before We Truly Come Home This Is A Profound, Gorgeous, Heart Stopping Work From One Of Our Best Writers


About the Author: Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore has written two collections of stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, as well as a novel, Alligator.Open and Alligator were both nominated for the Giller Prize Alligator won the Commonwealth Prize for the Canadian Caribbean Region and the ReLit Award, and Open won the Canadian Authors Association Jubilee Prize for Short Fiction.Lisa has also written for television, radio, magazines