The Winter Helen Dropped By, by W. P. Kinsella, tells the story of young Jamie O'Day coming of age on a small farm in Alberta, Canada. Helen, an Indian woman, falls into Jamie's life one terrible winter night and her presence weaves through a year of his life. Canadian author Kinsella is best known for his novel Shoeless Joe, made into the movie Field of Dreams. Sean Crisden's casual and personal sound is perfect for this young boy's voice. Crisden compliments the narration with a slight drawl and spices up dialogue with accurate regional accents to help the listener visualize the rural world of O'Day's childhood.
Narrated by young Jamie O'Day, who is beginning to understand that, like his daddy says, "every story is about sex or death, or sometimes both", The Winter Helen Dropped By is a story of growing up, of loss, of laughter and of characters both sexy and dead. Helen is the young, pregnant Indian woman who drops into Jamie's life one freeze-the-balls-off-a-brass-monkey snow-storming night. It is her haunting presence, woven throughout Jamie's accounts of the spring he damn near drowned, the summer of the peculiar reconstituted wedding of Mrs.Beatrice Ann Stevenson and Mr.Earl J. Rasmussen, followed by the summer White Chaps murdered his wife, that makes this a funny, sad and wholly wonderful new novel.
I enjoyed listening to this story. I wouldn't want relive those times when I was innocent, sad, and disappointed. I do remember the good people and this story helped me to think about them.