Complete summary of Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Barometer Rising. Barometer Rising By Hugh MacLennanAdapted For Radio By Rita Greer [Allen] Canada’s most famous explosion – Halifax, December 6, Hugh MacLennan’s first novel is a compelling romance set against the horrors of wartime and the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of December 6,
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Barometer Rising – Wikipedia
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan. Penelope Wain believes that her lover, Neil Macrae, has been killed while serving overseas under her father. That he died apparently in disgrace does not alter her love for him, even though her father is insistent on his guilt.
Barometer Rising By Hugh MacLennan
What neither Penelope or her father knows is that Neil is not dead, but has returned to Halifax to clear his name.
Paperbackpages. Published November 1st by New Canadian Library first published Canada Nova Scotia Canada. To see what your friends thought of this mackennan, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Barometer Risingplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Mar 27, C. That tells you this is one special novel. This is an opportunity to read a re-enactment, not merely a write-up, from Hugh MacLennanwho was there.
December 6, has just made maclennah years ago!
What dipped my appreciation to four stars, is skipping the most gratifying part we were awaiting! Neil Macrae, accused of refusing an order that threw a battle in France, is back. That is not a mystery to key people for long. What we anticipate is his reaction to someone. The revelation does not occur and on his way to be surprised by them, Huh thought it sufficient to close the novel! He wrote a two-chapter play by play of the explosion but did not show us the happy reward!
A downgrade to four stars also honours a horse, whom Neil did not assist out of the snow! I was impressed otherwise. Imagine, a woman making headlines as a ship-building engineer in and shown as composedly-intelligent and confident, in a novel! Her aunt Mary is a dear woman.
Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan
Even the aunt barometwr marriage, who was judgemental and prickly, found her element when their house was needed as a hospital. Penny is understandably anxious about everything coming out well with Neil. Everyone, except her father and his sense of entitlement, bolsters their city in dangerous days.
The feeling of WWI in Canada and Halifax’s unique position, as a seaport vital to Britain, are of course revelations to me. Apr 01, Bfisher rated it it was ok Shelves: That was very well done.
The best character in this book is Halifax. Unfortunately, it was paired with a laboured reworking of Odysseus returning to Ithaca to deal with the suitors; naming your character Penny, really? For the reader who didn’t get it by the end, the author offers the hero’s closing dialogue: That’s what Odysseus said to his wife when he got home.
CanLit got better when it stopped trying to be CanLit. From the very beginning of Barometer Rising, you can tell this is a singular book. The foreword sets the stage when it says that this book “is one of the first ever written to use Halifax, Nova Scotia, as its sole background. CanLit is not even 70 years old at the time this review is being written, and look at all the things we’ve accomplished! Amazing also describes this book well.
The story takes place from a few days before to a day or so after the Halifax Explosion, which occurred on December 6, It was a horrific event: It is still one of the largest non-atomic explosions in history, or something like that.
But we are not following the crew of this ill-fated vessel. Instead we focus on Neil MacRae, a disgraced soldier who has returned to Halifax, where his lover and also his cousin Penelope Wain still lives. She believes he died in Europe, so she has managed to carry on, holding down a very respectable job designing ships.
Respectable from our perspective, of course; most of the male characters think she really shouldn’t be doing “men’s work”. What will happen if their paths crossed?
How much has Penny changed? And of course what impact will the Explosion have when it occurs? This is quite honestly a brilliant book. As a poet, MacLennan is blessed with a gift for description. He picks the right words and uses all of the senses, making the scene come to life.
For example, the risong whose sounds permeated the walls of the Wain household. You can almost feel the bellow rattling around in your own bones when you read those lines. His protagonists are animated, with active inner thoughts particularly those of Angus Murray, a medical officer from Neil’s battalion.
Of course greater dimension is given to Penny, Neil and Angus, but Geoffrey Wain, Penny’s father and Neil’s uncle, also has more to him than one might think. MacLennan’s description of the Explosion rates its own paragraph.
It is utterly breathtaking, speaking to both the quality of his research and his ability to conjure up the perfect image. Even though what happens in the harbour is a matter of historical record and cannot be changed this is not an alternate history novelthe dread one feels at the Imo approaching the deadly Mont Badometer is palpable, and the moment the ship goes up is sickening.
This is one of those rare books where I feel even a tiny bit comfortable discussing themes and symbols. The barometer mentioned in the title gave me pause, but I can guess that the fact that it’s rising means that the pressure is increasing throughout the story — the confrontation between the various parties involved in the Neil MacRae affair has to come to a head after the tension of the days leading up to the Explosion, which blows everyone’s world apart and changes things radically.
There is also a theme of the older generations being supplanted by the new, as illustrated by the character of Alec MacKenzie and the anecdote about Angus Murray returning to his father’s farm and finding that much of the land his father had painstakingly cleared the trees from was reverting to new forest. Baromeyer conclude this riing, I shall leave you with a short passage from the last little bit of the book. No matter what happened to him in the future he would always be able to tell himself that he had survived worse things in the past.
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. Only one who had experienced ultimate things could comprehend the greatness of that line. The line in question is from The Aeneid, and one possible translation is “Perhaps it will be pleasing to remember even this one day.
Very moving, beautifully written, Barometer Rising is a must-read for Canadian literature fans and anyone interested in historical fiction.
Feb 20, Lucille rated it liked it Shelves: We read this for my Canadian Literature class. There are three major things in it: If barometef don’t enjoy reading about any of those things, this is maybe not the book for you.
If you think that a book set during WWI in Halifax at the time of the Halifax explosion is going to be action-packed and about either of those events, you’re mistaken. Prepare yourself for a lot of introspection, and all of maclenann sexism. Nov 21, Jean Ives rated it really liked it. Maybe because I’ve just been to Halifax, maybe because we are maclennqn the centennial of the Baroemter explosion, maybe because I read it over the Remembrance Day weekend; this book spoke to me.
The various descriptions of the city and daily life were vivid and took me right to those places that I know reasonably well. I can still feel the snow storm. Yes, there were tedious bits of navel gazing but hey, it barometfr written in How can you not love this language: But there were almost as many wet days when Halifax macleennan worse than any town he could remember, when the fog isolated it from the ocean and the forests until there was nothing to see but steaming maclejnan and the bells moaned in the distance and the stained old buildings seemed to expect the bad weather to go right on to the end of the world.
I wish we had read this in high school or university for Canadian Lit or History. Much better than reading Atwood!
Though slow to start, I really liked the story overall. The author wove the the characters together and apart very well. The beginning part was a little slow though, but started to pick up closer to the explosion. I like how the “trivial” things in life were set aside with the explosion and it’s aftermath. I thought it was interesting that the father was all but forgotten about unti I wish we had read this in high school or university for Canadian Lit or History.
I thought it was interesting that the father was all but forgotten about until Neil literally stumbled upon him. Oct 24, Sharon Plett rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this novel, much more than I expected. I can’t believe no teacher or professor ever encouraged me to read it.