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And while Pipher, 71, says she wrote it specifically for women crossing from middle age to old age, there is much in the book that is useful for any of us. While a must-read for its target audience of women moving into old age, Pipher's engaging book is an ought-to-read for their daughters and sons as well, as it sets forth the universal message that 'happiness is a choice and a set of skills. Pipher's skill of listening to clients and parsing meaning is evident in this volume filled with stories of women in the throes of change.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - Penguin Books Australia

Pipher inspires us to take on this most important role, one that is most needed in these challenging times of division and rancor: that of wise elders joining together and welcoming all into the beloved community she has labored to create. This is truly a one-of-a-kind book, one that I've been waiting for. This is a book to treasure, to keep by the bedside to remind us that, contrary to shopworn stereotypes, joy and wonder don't have a time-stamp. It sets the direction, shows the dangers, and brings the reader safely through to joy. I feel gratitude, not only for life, but for this wonderful book.

This book examines head-on the losses and crises we all fear, cohering into a profound and comforting guide to living deftly and deeply well into old age. Don't stop with a once-through reading. It's by far the best new novel I've read in ages. Wilfred Owen wrote of his Great War verse: "My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity. The Narrow Road is an extraordinary piece of writing and a high point in an already distinguished career. Richard Flanagan. Richard Flanagan was born in Tasmania in Our Lists. View all online retailers Find local retailers.

Read more. Also by Richard Flanagan. Discover More. Book Clubs. The Narrow Road to the Deep North — an inspired reading group selection. Related titles. The Handmaid's Tale. Their work keeps her in constant fear for her life. When they are kidnapped and presumed killed, she is sent away to France, but on the boat trip someone is trying to take her as well. I liked Emmeline. He is around her age, possibly older.

Thing sees her as a distraction and a way to pass the time on the boat, but when her life is in danger he quickly becomes her rescuer and partner in crime. What is it they really do and why have they been kidnapped? The more Em discovers, the more she realizes how little she really knew her parents. I enjoyed the twists and turns as Em discovers more and more.

Then about a third of the way into the story her and Thing are separated and the story is told from both their perspectives, basically like two stories running parallel to each other. It made for an exciting read and some dramatic irony as the reader finds out things before the characters. Overall I really enjoyed this book!

While I liked Emmeline, I loved Thing. They make a great a team! But perhaps the reason I enjoyed this so much was the writing style. It was like the narrator who is outside of the story is talking to you about what the characters are experiencing, a little formal but intriguing. If you enjoy middle grade fantasy with a dash of steampunk, I highly recommend it.

Jan 18, Laura Noakes rated it really liked it Shelves: middle-grade. This was a great, old-fashioned quest into the frozen north. I adored the mythology—it felt fresh, and yet so rich, which is SO difficult t This was a great, old-fashioned quest into the frozen north. I adored the mythology—it felt fresh, and yet so rich, which is SO difficult to do well in MG fiction.

I also really enjoyed the animal-human relationships—there was such kindness and understanding—especially between Emmeline and Meadowmane. Also, the villain, Doctor Siegfried Bauer, was scarily great. The Eye of the North is definitely set to be one of the top middle grade releases of !

Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age

In this steampunk adventure, we start by meeting Emmeline, our feisty heroine as she learns that her parents have mysteriously disappeared. Suddenly, her life is turned upside down and we find ourselves aboard a ship, sailing off towards further mystery and adventure! It is fantastic! Such an exciting, terrifying adventure with lovely touches of humour and magic. Emmeline Widget is simply wonderful, from the top of her curls to her duck bloomers. It's great to read children's stories with elements of Lovecraftian horror in them, and this was really well done in Eye, with the ever present threat of an ancient evil under the ice.

I love the mix of fantasy and steampunk. Sep 29, Cat rated it liked it. Not exactly what I was expecting and a bit disappointed. The book just didn't work for me. But that doesn't mean middle grade kids, 5th and up, wouldn't enjoy it! I tried to get into the story, but I'm not its demographic. What a Kracken adventure! Thoroughly enjoyable with a scintillating climactic ending. I received this free as a UK pre-publication review copy through NetGalley as an ebook, and read it in tandem with a librarian colleague in Canada reading the US version.

This has not influenced my review. What a ride! It's exhilarating. Th I received this free as a UK pre-publication review copy through NetGalley as an ebook, and read it in tandem with a librarian colleague in Canada reading the US version. Then it all lurches towards the Lovecraftian when Emmeline's parents go missing - a whirlwind of travel, plots, a sweet cheeky boy called Thing, layer upon layer of secret societies, weird adults, mad scientists, revenge, greed, ancient myth, the end of the world and AIRSHIPS!

It's not quite steampunk but definitely that sort of atmosphere - planes and telephones are not in evidence, which means the suspense can be drawn out really well. It's a world where climate change is clearly in effect - I would like to have seen more of the backplot of that and I'm hoping O'Hart sets some more stories in this universe to explore the effect of those rising seas in more detail.

The two main characters are fantastic. I love the fact that Emmeline isn't a perfect, brilliant heroine who's good at everything. She's gained her survival skills through a challenging childhood and being a rather fearful overthinker hello, myself - her disaster planning, situational awareness and sheer practicality is what saves the day over and over again.


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Thing is adorable - a sweet, funny boy with a loyal heart as big as Greenland itself. Watch carefully for the resolution of his backstory and disability - it's very subtle and hurried readers will miss it in the final scenes.

A New Favorite! - North and South Book Talk - BookCravings

Take your time over the final chapters and really savour them. My only small criticism is that I would have liked to have seen the villains fleshed out a bit more, but this is very common with debut novels and it doesn't spoil the story at all. I just want to know ALL the details! Absolutely one to put on your TBR pile as soon as it comes out. Aug 10, Michelle Kidwell rated it it was amazing. Doctor Siegfried Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland where he hopes to summon the Mystical Creature said to be found in the depths of the ancient glaciers.

A creature believed to be so powerful whoever controls it can control The Eye of the North by Sinead O'Hart Random House Children's Knopf Books for Young Readers Children's Fiction Pub Date 22 Aug Emmeline finds herself headed to the north where allies have pledge to protect her after her scientist parents mysteriously dissapear. A creature believed to be so powerful whoever controls it can control the world. The North Witch has also laid claim to the beast and Emmeline and a scrappy stowaway named the Thing must stop them in order to save the world? Will they be able to? Find out in The Eye of The North.

The perfect read for YA readers who love adventure! Five out of five stars. Happy Reading! Feb 19, T. Burns marked it as to-read Shelves: middle-grade , ng , preferred-publisher , random-house-childrens , february , march , april , may , july , june.


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  • Sep 10, Claire rated it it was amazing. A wonderfully paced story that balances both the emotional and the tension perfectly. It's one of those books you read in one sitting, it really is a fantastic read and an amazing debut from this author. Really can't wait for the next one! After her parents disappear, a young girl gets kidnapped too. As she tries to figure out who would want to kidnap her family and why, she will also have to try to make sense of other events that have greater implications for the world at large.

    Emmeline Widget can take care of herself. Her parents, scientists, spend most of their time on expediti After her parents disappear, a young girl gets kidnapped too. Her parents, scientists, spend most of their time on expeditions away from home, so much so that Emmeline carries around a satchel at all times full of survival essentials. Her informal training may truly benefit her, Emmeline discovers, when she receives a mysterious letter from her mother. The letter states that if Emmeline is reading the words on the page, in all likelihood her parents have been kidnapped.

    For her own safety, the letter continues, Emmeline should leave her home immediately and travel to Paris. There she should go to the address included in the letter, ask for a Madame Blancheflour, and live with the woman until the age of Satchel in hand, Emmeline boards a ship bound for France.

    About Women Rowing North

    Within hours of getting on the ship, Emmeline finds out that someone—or several someones—want to kidnap her as well. She and Thing do their best to evade capture, but the inevitable happens: Emmeline gets snatched from the deck by a Dr. Siegfried Bauer. Bauer wants immortality. After decades of research, he has discovered he can call forth the Kraken in Greenland. Anyone who summons the Kraken and offers a living sacrifice can command the beast and utilize its powers, including those that make it live forever.

    All is not lost, however. Thing begins working on a plan to save Emmeline. He meets a bevy of friends along the way who help him in his quest, and he lives through some adventures himself. As both Emmeline and Thing travel to Greenland, they will have to contend with what awakening the Kraken means not only for them personally but also for the rest of the world. Much of the action before her kidnapping feels like filler, however. The jarring start to the book requires a great deal of suspension of belief, and the lack of plausibility might discourage more advanced readers.

    Until that moment late in the book, though, readers will have to content themselves with accepting the fact that Thing is a resourceful orphan who is just nosy enough to follow Emmeline and then rescue her. A witch pops up briefly, almost as if items on a checklist needed ticking. In many other places, the mechanics of the action are entirely unclear and some of the characters come across as placeholders. I recommend readers Borrow The Eye of the North. Feb 08, Steph Warren rated it it was amazing.

    Heading North

    The decision to review and my opinions are my own. I particularly adored how the young heroes held their own amongst the adult characters, showing bravery, initiative and learned survival skills that thoroughly impressed me. No sitting around waiting for the adults to come up with a plan here, or waiting to be rescued by your male co-protagonist.


    1. The Eye of the North?
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    Nope, Emmeline just marshals her resources and grit and gets on with the job at hand. In terms of story, the plot is well-paced and easy to follow, whilst retaining a few mysteries for please! There are fantastical creatures and intriguing contraptions galore, but our characters buck the trend by not quite being orphans, or Chosen Ones, and not suddenly exhibiting magical powers, but instead being reliant on themselves, their allies, and whatever they can find in their pockets. It is the tone though, that really ranks this writer amongst my all-time favourites.

    Whilst I personally enjoy any and all fiction, it is these books that nod their heads at real life, then grin and wink, that I come back to again and again in my own personal reading library Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Elizabeth Peters, to name just a few. The Eye of the North is definitely joining their ranks! So a glowing review from me for this one. Feb 17, S. Higbee rated it it was amazing. Emmeline is brought up a solitary child in a creepy house infested with all sorts of dangerous creatures and is more or less left to get on with it as her scientist parents have to do a lot of travelling.

    Until a fateful day when everything goes wrong… Do try to avoid reading the blurb which is far too chatty and gives away more of the plot than is necessary. That said, there is plenty of plot in this action-packed story brimful of interesting, likeable characters. Other than Emmeline, whose gritty self-assurance gets her through all sorts of tight spots, my favourite character has to be Thing, the vagabond boy she encounters on the liner. But there are plenty of other enjoyable, strong-minded characters to choose from as steampunk tends to roll along with lots of action and relatively little angst.

    It was when Thing had a wobble about his grim childhood that I bonded with him and felt that vulnerability gave him more reader-appeal. There is also a pleasing number of unpleasant villains ranged against Emmeline and the people trying to prevent the impending apocalypse — my favourite is Doctor Siegfried Bauer as he is so magnificently horrible, especially to poor Emmeline. But the North Witch is also a thoroughly nasty character who poses all sorts of problems.

    Once the action really takes off, we have the two main protagonists, Emmeline and Thing alternating in telling the story, occasionally interspersed by other members of the supporting cast. The denouement has to deliver after so much energy and tension has been expended during the rising action and in this case, it does, while all the dangling plotpoints are satisfactorily tidied up.

    Emmaline's parents are scientists of some sort. She isn't really sure what all they do. They travel a lot and leave her at home. Emmaline believes in always being prepared. You never know what you are going to find in the family home or on the grounds. So she carries a satchel of useful things and tries not to be surprised by what she encounters. Then one day she receives notice that her parents are missing and she is being sent to Paris immediately. She has very little time to pack or mourn and Emmaline's parents are scientists of some sort.

    She has very little time to pack or mourn and very little idea of what is going on. On the ship to Paris she meets Thing. Thing appears to be a stowaway on the ship. He has no family that he knows of, but takes an interest in Emmaline. After they set sail, Emmaline and Thing discover someone searching her room.