Sanctuary Line

Sanctuary Line

Book - 2010
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Set in the present day on a farm at the shores of Lake Erie, this novel weaves elements from the 19th-century past, in Ireland and Ontario, into a gradually unfolding contemporary story of events in the lives of the members of one family that come to alter their futures irrevocably. There are ancestral lighthouse-keepers, seasonal Mexican workers; the migratory patterns of the Monarch butterfly; the tragedy of a young woman's death during a tour of duty in Afghanistan; three different love stories. All the events reveal the sometimes difficult path to understanding and forgiveness. From the author of AWAY. Multi-city author tour.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart/Emblem, 2010
ISBN: 9780771086465
Branch Call Number: URQ
Characteristics: 278 p


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Aug 24, 2016

A good read but I did not enjoy it as much as the Stone Carvers or A Map of Glass or Away!

Jun 09, 2012

Beautifully written and layered tale of the migrations of monarchs and families in the midst of the Lake Erie waves. Urquhart also gets the prize for the most appearances of the word "bifurcate" in a novel.

Feb 20, 2012

A decently complex book and plot. Good connections to pieces of literature, and to real events and references. However, somehow does not have the engagement of "The Stone Carvers."

Nov 04, 2011

a good story, but far too slow.

Jun 05, 2011

I did not enjoy this book in the least. Overly descriptive and drawn out.

Mar 21, 2011

good read but not as good as The Stone Carvers or A Map of Glass.

Feb 09, 2011

"Sanctuary Line is a book lover's novel, weaving together children's poetry, 19th-century American fiction and family myths into a unique literary pastiche. In one of Stan's family myths, for instance, a Stephen Crane story dovetails with the life of a Butler great-great.Urquhart strikes me as quite experimental. Her novels aim to map out the true contours of existence rather than fit any conventional form. This can go too far, as when she delivers a brick-by-brick account of 19th-century barn-raising. Her sometimes awkwardly shaped sentences – strange exercises in over-explaining – may also frustrate the reader. Yet, her writing is often beautiful, stirring: Liz's experience of the natural world especially mesmerizes. And the ending, when it comes, is well worth the wait, revealing the answers to mysteries we didn't even know existed. "
The Globe And Mail

Having read and enjoyed prior novels from Ms. Urquhart, I looked forward to finally getting a crack at Sanctuary Line. Boy, was I disappointed! You have to have the patience of Job to stick with this novel.

Jan 10, 2011

Partic. interesting as have recently visited the area of Ontario she is writing about & liked the way the story of the monarchs is interweaved through the narrator's tale - seeing the butterflies crossing Lake Erie was amazing. Liked the ending chapters. Slight reservation in that the 'awful event' was so often eluded to during the story that I felt it didn't progress as smoothly as it would have if refered to less often.

debwalker Jan 03, 2011

"Set on the windy shores of the Lake Erie, Jane Urquhart's narrator is a lepidopterist with a passion for monarch butterflies. A gradually unfolding family saga and three surprising and powerful love stories."
A Chatelaine top pick.

Dec 29, 2010


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Aug 07, 2011

- good descriptions of the land and people on farms in the western end of southern Ontario along Lake Erie. Kind of short of plot though. 6/10

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