I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a Ebook Updated July Well I ve reread this book that I first read so many years ago and I do believe well perhaps there were one or two other books in the pa
I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a Ebook Updated 22 July 2013Well, I’ve reread this book that I first read so many years ago and I do believe, well perhaps there were one or two other books in the past that have had the same effect on me, that this is the first book that has left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I finished it. I went to bed and finally reread the end and thought my….what an incredible wonderful work!This is such a simple story but it shines through with all the wonders of our life on this magnificent planet of ours. I live in the western world, admittedly slightly quieter here in “rusticana” in south-west France after working in bustling London, but the “goodness” that flows from this book is rather touching.Kingcome (the native Amercans who still live there, call it Quee) is situated in the “remote Northest Pacific, and purely reading about it makes one immediately want to become a nun or a priest and follow on a spiritual pursuit of life. I even started thinking back to the days when I was mad about Buddhism and dreamed of going to Lhasa, in Tibet’s forbidden city as the French explorer, Alexandra David–Neel had done on her 1923 expedition there.The first paragraph of this work sets the scene for the young vicar, Mark Brian, who is unaware that he only has a few years to live before he is sent to Kingcome:“ ‘The doctor said to the Bishop, ‘So you can see, lord, your young ordinand can live no more than three years and doesn’t know it. Will you tell him, and what will you do with him?The Bishop said to the doctor, ‘Yes, I’ll tell him but not yet…..How much time has he for an active life?’‘A little less than two years if he’s lucky.’‘So short a time to learn so much. It leaves me no choice. I shall send him to my hardest parish. I shall send him to Kingcome on patrol of the Indian villages.’‘Then I hope you’ll pray for him, my lord.’But the bishop only answered gently that it was where he would wish to go if he were young again and in the ordinand’s place.’ ”Kingcome is a Christian village, with its church and vicarage but it also lives and thrives with its fundamental beliefs, myths, totems, winds and rains. The village is in fact “the salmon that comes up the river to spawn…the village is the talking bird, the owl, who calls the name of the man who is going to die, and the silver-tipped grizzly who ambles into the village…”I believe that Mark was fated to go to this village in search of his own destiny. He learns all about the Indian culture and slowly but surely he is accepted into their life style. He never asks for their help but because he is who he is, the villagers end up loving him. Mark had that essential element that many people lack, that of “goodness” but he also had the quality of laugher and that always goes down well anywhere in the world, as long as you are laughing with someone and not at them.The book is full of wonderful sentences. To me one of the most touching was when the Bishop is discussing Kingcome with Mark before his departure“This is the village. If you go there, from the time you tie up at the float in the inlet, the village is you. But there is one thing you must understand. They will not thank you. Even if you should leave a broken man, they will not thank you. There is no word for thank you in Kwákwala.”Yes, that may be correct but tacitly Mark was indeed thanked by the villagers. He had soon learned from his initial arrival that he should step back from their customs until they accepted him and gradually they did.I loved the villagers, especially Jim (who proved to be a true friend) when he met the vicar and took him by boat to the village. The difficulty in getting the organ from the boat onto the canoes that they had lashed together was indeed a feat. Old Marta, the matriarch of the village was a character, and how she responded in a quite different way to what Mark had expected her to say when he told her that he had heard the owl call his name.The difficulties of living in a vicarage that was slowly collapsing; funerals that he assisted at; the “professional mourners”, who took it in turns wailing when someone died. The discontinuation of the old funerals where the dead were buried up in the trees known as the “grave trees” (now that was a splendid idea!); the young Indians leaving the village to go and live in the “Western civilization” but also to obtain the education that it provided. Mark’s awareness that he was a “guest” here at the beginning but gradually becoming an essential part of their sadness through death and floods but joy in their dancing, continual hope and laughter.The ending was not at all what I had expected. I had, of course, known that the vicar would die, as he was slowly becoming weaker and weaker, but then something quite extraordinary and macabre happened.This is one of those remarkable, not to be forgotten, books that I’m so glad I have. ******************************************************I was so delighted to see this on Goodreads this morning. My brother Ken, who lives in Kamloops, Canada, let me read this when I was staying with him; my it must have been twenty years ago, and I loved it! The actual title says it all and I'm going to purchase a copy of this and re-read it.I couldn't resist adding part of a review that I read on Amazon this morning:"With stunning narrative, the plot revolves around a young dying vicar, Mark Brian, who went to an Indian village called Kingcome in the Pacific Northwest completing his last mission (though he did not know he only had three years to live). He had to overcome many great difficulties in order to help and convert these proud, Kwakiutl native people, for the old ones were unreligious while the young ones had little respects toward the old people and the old way of life. His first problem was trying to be accepted into this struggling primitive community, which was starting to be swallowed into white man's world. Then he had to help preserve the old culture of totems and salmons from being replaced by a new culture of alcoholism and residential schools. In the end he did succeed in earning respect and trust, maybe even love, of the people, but, most of all, he learnt a most valuable lesson - the acceptence of death, life and submission, as quoted by the author".I would love to read reviews of other Goodreads' readers too!This is a stunning book and a must for those on a spiritual journey, as I am.. In a world that knows too well the anguish inherent in the clash of old ways and new lifestyles, Margaret Craven s classic and timeless story of a young man s journey into the Pacific Northwest is as relevant today as ever.Here amid the grandeur of British Columbia stands the village of Kingcome, a place of salmon runs and ancient totems a village so steeped in time thatIn a world that knows too well the anguish inherent in the clash of old ways and new lifestyles, Margaret Craven s classic and timeless story of a young man s journey into the Pacific Northwest is as relevant today as ever.Here amid the grandeur of British Columbia stands the village of Kingcome, a place of salmon runs and ancient totems a village so steeped in time that, according to Kwakiutl legend, it was founded by two brothers left on earth after the great flood Yet in this Eden of such natural beauty and richness, the old culture of totems and potlaches is under attack slowly being replaced by a new culture of prefab houses and alcoholism Into this world, where an entire generation of young people has become disenchanted and alienated from their heritage, Craven introduces Mark Brian, a young vicar sent to the small isolated parish by his church.This is Mark s journey of discovery a journey that will teach him about life, death, and the transforming power of love It is a journey that will resonate in the mind of readers long after the book is done.. Bestseller Kindle I Heard the Owl Call My Name I found the topics discussed to be all too simplified. The themes are life, death and friendship as well as how modern life is a threat to the traditions and culture of the First Nation people in Canada. Through the author's writing I did not perceive the beauty of the land. Nature writing is a theme I enjoy, but I personally didn't find it here. The language is flat.A character in the book is to die, and the way this is treated is not direct enough for me. Heap on the problems. Don’t give me the solution; that I will figure out myself. Religion is presented in a balanced manner. The audiobook narration is not hard to follow, but I would have preferred less theatrics in the telling. I didn’t particularly enjoy the sing-song tone. I quite simply was not the right reader for this book. I don’t want life simplified. I prefer being shown life’s complexities. I am not looking for easy answers, and that is how they are drawn in this book. Maybe, for a young adult, the book can be used as a lesson for living.
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