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The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
The Whistling Season is set in rural Montana in 1909. Paul Milliron and his brothers are struggling to cope with the loss of their mother a year ago, and their father is unable to keep the house in reasonable order. Rescue comes in the form of Rose Llewellyn, a housekeeper from Minneapolis who brings her brother, Morris, with her. When the teacher in the one-room schoolhouse runs away with the preacher, Morris is pressed into service as the teacher. The year is a coming-of-age one for Paul, who narrates this story. He enjoys the company and influence of Rose and Paul, until their secretive past catches up to them. Fifty years later, Paul remembers their effect on him, as he has to make the decision about the fate of one-room schoolhouses throughout Montana. Ivan Doig's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "The Whistling Season is one of those novels that sets it own stage in the opening pages, promising unique characters, poetic passages and memorable scenes. And, perhaps more than in any of his previous volumes, Doig delivers."