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Publisher's Summary

When a widowed rancher hires a housekeeper to help with his three young sons, he finds her to be cheerful and competent. Yet she is concealing a colorful and infamous past. Filled with humor and hardship, this novel sings with what the author calls "a poetry of the vernacular".

A finalist for the National Book award, Ivan Doig, who has published 11 books, has been hailed as the "West's preeminent literary novelist" by the Denver Post.

©2006 Ivan Doig; (P)2006 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"The Whistling Season is a book to pass on to your favorite readers: a story of lives of active choice, lived actively." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    422
  • 4 Stars
    295
  • 3 Stars
    120
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    343
  • 4 Stars
    171
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    12

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    324
  • 4 Stars
    172
  • 3 Stars
    86
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    15
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lee
  • Farmington Hills, MI, United States
  • 09-10-17

Couldn't finish it

Any additional comments?

Got about 1/3 of the way thru it with still no sign of a plotline.....had to put it down.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Top 10 all time favorite books

Beautifully written, engaging charming story and perfectly read. This is one of my new all time favorites.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Melanie
  • White House, TN, United States
  • 08-26-17

Delightful read.

I laughed and teared up. Loved the characters, especially the young brothers. This is one of those novels where the vocabulary itself is a delight. Do yourself a favor & listen/read this book. Editing could have been better in some sections.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Liked the beginning and the ending.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I did not find the book to be very captivating. I did enjoy the beginning and the end, but there was a lot in between that I found myself not totally into.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Enjoyed the ending and was somewhat surprised.

What three words best describe Jonathan Hogan’s voice?

Not so great.

Did The Whistling Season inspire you to do anything?

No

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Becky
  • PALL MALL, TENNESSEE, United States
  • 03-15-17

disappointed

Had the makings of a GREAT STORY
but fell short for me.I think this is a series so I didn't pay much but I won't continue.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Slightly disappointed

This book is worth listening to. The writing was excellent and we live a slice of time most of us never experienced. This was almost worthy of five stars but the ending disappointed. Rose's secret and how it resolved made me dislike her and distrust her. Especially the secret she expected young boys to keep. What a selfish self-centered person she turned out to be, with never a thought of remorse.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

5 stars all around!

Great story coupled with an exceptional narrator! I was totally absorbed in this book and was sorry to see it end.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gail
  • boise, ID, United States
  • 10-07-16

Wonderful story!

The characters came to life as the narrator spun the story. Having taught in rural schools (Idaho, not Montana) I knew the students, school board and parents that were richly described. I have recommended this book to several and plan to read more Ivan Doig books.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyed this book while driving across MT to visit Glacier NP

My family loved this book as well as the narrator. We have three boys, my husband is a teacher, and I work in politics, so there was much that we resonated with.

The story and characters were very engaging, with enough twists and turns to keep it from being pat and predictable. The author did a great job of establishing a sense of time and place. We particularly enjoyed his insightful descriptions of the dynamics between brothers, classmates in a one room schoolhouse, and adults and children. We liked the main character and narrator Paul as he navigates the challenges of being the oldest of three brothers in a recently motherless household, as well as a 60 something MT superintendent of public schools tasked with closing down the one room school houses that were such a critical part of his own childhood.

The narrator was a delight to listen to: very evocative without being heavy handed. He did a particularly nice job with Doig's many clever and ironic turns of phrase.

This one has me wanting to look up other books by the author as well as other books narrated by this actor.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Totally engrossed

Would you consider the audio edition of The Whistling Season to be better than the print version?

I liked it better than the print version because Jonathan Hogan read it so beautifully.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the story from a young boy's perspective.

What about Jonathan Hogan’s performance did you like?

Jonathan Hogan read with ease. He was always on target with the punctuation - did not over or under emphasize. I was able to forget the reader and concentrate freely on what he was reading.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me laugh and cry both.