Bay of Spirits

Bay of Spirits

A Love Story

Book - 2006
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In 1957, Farley Mowat shipped out aboard one of Newfoundland's famous coastal steamers, tramping from outport to outport along the southwest coast. The indomitable spirit of the people and the bleak beauty of the landscape would lure him back again and again over the years. In the process of falling in love with a people and a place, Mowat also met the woman who would be the great love of his life. A stunningly beautiful and talented young artist, Claire Wheeler insouciantly climbed aboard Farley's beloved but jinxed schooner as it lay on the St. Pierre docks, once again in a cradle for repairs, and changed both their lives forever. This is the story of that love affair, of summers spent sailing the Newfoundland coast, and of their decision to start their life together in Burgeo, one of the province's last remaining outports. It is also an unforgettable portrait of the last of the outport people and a way of life that had survived for centuries but was now passing forever. Affectionate, unsentimental, this is a burnished gem from an undiminished talent. I was inside my vessel painting the cabin when I heard the sounds of a scuffle nearby. I poked my head out the companionway in time to see a lithesome young woman swarming up the ladder which leaned against Happy Adventure's flank. Whining expectantly, the shipyard dog was endeavouring to follow this attractive stranger. I could see why. As slim and graceful as a ballet dancer (which, I would later learn, was one of her avocations), she appeared to be wearing a gleaming golden helmet (her own smoothly bobbed head of hair) and was as radiantly lovely as any Saxon goddess. I invited her aboard, while pushing the dog down the ladder. "That's only Blanche," I reassured my visitor. "He won't bite. He's just, uh . . . being friendly." "That's nice to know," she said sweetly. Then she smiled . . . and I was lost. --FromBay of Spirits From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : McClelland & Stewart : 2006
ISBN: 9780771065385
Branch Call Number: 971.8 M87b
Characteristics: 360p illus


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Apr 21, 2016

An unusual "love story" in that the content focuses more on the residents of the coasts of Newfoundland and the author's sojourn among them. Mowat practiced participatory anthropology to gather material for his books.

Sep 30, 2007

A wonderful and interesting story about a specific time during the author's life. A love story about Mowat's wife, Newfoundland, and the animals he loved and worked to protect. I would have loved to have heard more about his children and how they coped - a bit of an incomplete story but that of course must be up to the author.

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