Ann-Marie MacDonald

As a playwright, Ann-Marie MacDonald is best known for the lighthearted Shakespeare parody Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), but her novels travel a considerably darker emotional terrain. In her Oprah-blessed debut Fall on Your Knees, she detailed the corrosive secrets and lies destroying a dysfunctional Nova Scotian family. Her followup, The Way the Crow Flies, uses its setting in the early sixties as a backdrop for two shattering losses of innocence: Canadian Air Force desk jockey Jack McCarthy, who’s about to be caught up in the machinations of the Cold War; and, perhaps more heartbreaking, his eight-year-old daughter Madeleine, whose idyllic world is shattered when a classmate is found strangled in a nearby meadow, and whose teacher hides an abusive side from the community. A portrait of a family who struggles to figure out how to do what’s right in the face of harsh and confusing reality, this is heavy stuff, but MacDonald has a talent for drawing characters that pull you into the story all the way to the end.
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