Excerpt from The Way The Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Way The Crow Flies

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

The Way The Crow Flies
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 736 pages
    Aug 2004, 752 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

When you live in the air force, home is a variation on a theme. Home is Canada, from sea to sea. Home is also the particular town you came from before you got married and joined the forces. And home is whatever place you happen to be posted, whether it's Canada, the U.S., Germany, France. . . . Right now, home is this sky-blue 1962 Rambler station wagon.

Having adjusted his rearview mirror, Jack glances at his kids in the back seat. Peace reigns for now. Next to him, his wife opens her purse-he reaches forward and pushes in the automatic lighter on the dashboard. She glances at him, small smile as she takes the cigarette from her pack. He winks at her-your wish is my command. Home is this woman.

The Trans-Canada Highway has been finished: you can dip your rear wheels in the Atlantic and drive until you dip your front ones in the Pacific. The McCarthys are not going that far, although they did start this leg of their journey at the Atlantic. They have been driving for three days. Taking it easy, watching the scenery change, fir trees give way to the St. Lawrence Seaway, the narrow cultivated strips of old Québec all along the broad river, the blue shimmer of the worn Laurentian Mountains, the jet-smooth ride of the modern highway, Bienvenue à Montréal, Welcome to Ottawa, to Kingston, to Toronto, extending the summer holiday they spent with Mimi's family in New Brunswick-Nouveau-Brunswick-salt swimming among the sandbars of the Northumberland Strait, and at night the winking lights of the ferry to Prince Edward Island. They rose early to watch the priest bless the multicolored fishing boats on opening day, le premier jour de pêche. Lobster feasts and noisy card games of Deux-Cents late into the night, neighbors arriving to squeeze in at the kitchen table, placing their bets with mounds of pennies and Rummoli chips, until the fiddles and accordion came out and Mimi's mother thumped out chords on the piano, her treble hand permanently bent into the shape of the hook she had used to make every quilt and rug in the house. L'Acadie.

Language was no barrier. Jack basked in the French, in the food, in the celestial confusion of a big family. Mimi's father had been lost years before, in a storm that capsized his lobster boat, and her brothers headed the family now. Big self-made men with a chain of seafood restaurants, who took to Jack from the start, when he and Mimi returned home after the war, engaged. Things happened fast back then, everyone understood, the brothers were barely out of uniform themselves. Jack was an Anglais, but he was theirs and her family embraced him with a fervor equal to that which fuelled their mistrust of the English in general. They accorded him the status of a prince and extended him the consideration usually reserved for ladies. The best of both worlds.

From The Way The Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.