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The Diviners (Manawka) [Paperback]

Margaret Laurence , Sara Maitland
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1989 Manawka
Morag Gunn, now in her mid-forties, lives in a riverside farmhouse in Eastern Ontario. Through a series of flashbacks she reviews the painful and exhilarating moments of her earlier life: her childhood on the social margins of the small prairie town of Manawaka; her escape from a demeaning marriage into writing fiction; and her travels to England, Scotland and finally back to Canada where she faces a different challenge - the necessity to understand, and let go of, the daughter she loves. A feminist saga as inspirational as when it was first published in 1974, The Diviners is an evocative exploration of one woman's search for her identity.


Product details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd; New edition edition (31 Dec 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860688186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860688181
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,185,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'It's hard to think of a contemporary novel more moving and more triumphant than THE DIVINERS' SARA MAITLAND -- Sara Maitland

About the Author

Margaret Laurence (1926-1987) grew up in a small prairie town in Canada. She lived in Africa and then England where she wrote her famous Manawaka series, of which THE DIVINERS is the last volume, and THE STONE ANGEL the first.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To think I almost missed this one 19 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I had to read this book for an English class and I've read it several times since of my own accord. Full of brilliant symbolism, this book employs some fascinating literary techniques. Laurence's use of Morag's "memorybank movies" is so realistic that you really feel as you read that you are growing up with her. Her discovery of herself and acceptance of her flawed loved ones, such as her adoptive parents and her off-and-on lover Jules, is one of the best aspects of the book. Her realization that not only can she deal with but she is also proud of where she comes from is something I love to read about each time. It's a great book to study carefully, after you've read it once. If you just skim the surface, you miss so much. Great regional flavor.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Novel, but not for required reading 12 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After viewing a film, "Taking Liberties", I decided to read THE DIVINERS because part of the story line involved it being banned from a high school English class. I cannot imagine why anyone would suggest this novel to a high school English class and I am a high school English teacher. The novel centers on a woman in her 40s and I believe that you need to be a mature reader to appreciate this novel. It is marvelous! I highly recommend it (read the other positive reviews for details). But reading reviews of THE DIVINERS and other novels by Laurence here at Amazon leads me to believe that many young Canadians are being turned off by Laurence because they are not ready for the themes and even the subjects of her novels. Some works need to be read later on in life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My last year of highschool we had to read The Stone Angel, and it was the only book assigned to me in highschool that I managed to finish ahead of sechduel. I have since been out of school for two years and when I found The Diviners I jumped at the chance to read it. And I loved it and everything about it, unlike the other reveiwers I was neither forced to read it nor was I looking for a book about a middle aged women to relate to. I read this book simply because Laurence is a great storyteller. She manages to wave the past and present flawlessly never losing the reader anywhere in between. I fond that the realisionship between Morag and Pique was much like the realisionship between Deliah and Cissy in Dorthy Alison's Cavedweller. So if you like The Cavedweller then you like this book. The same can be said for if you like Laurence's books you will Alison's books because she is the next step for Women's litature in North America!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account of human nature. 18 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I never had to read this for any kind of course and so i read it for pleasure and i am really pleased i did. One of the most powerful, emotion packed books, i have read. A book about human nature that is more real than the computer screen you are staring at. Thoroughly reccommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Canadian Novel 16 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book captures it all: the tension between French Canada and English Canada, between the town and the city, between aboriginal and immigrant; Lawrence's work captures the ambiguousness that is Canada. This is also very much a book about women, and women's stuggles in Canada in the twentieth century. Very rich, full of detail, with vibrant characters, Lawrence's masterpiece is a pleasure to read again and again. It was (in my opinion) wrongfully banded from classrooms in Canada when it was published, and, unfortunately, remains largely unread by Canadian students. Note: telefilm Canada has produced a wonderful film version of this novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The river runs both ways 15 Aug 1996
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
'The Diviners' is not a book reserved for Literature courses. It is, simply put, a statement about life and journeys, and identity by the way-side. It is about taking the courage to be true to yourself, even if 'yourself' isn't exactly the most popular person in the world! The rebels, the drop-outs, the outsiders of the world are in fact out unsung heroines. Join Morag and Pique as they travel along the river of time, moving backward and forward between childhood and womanhood.
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