The O'Briens

The O'Briens

A Novel

Book - 2011
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The O'Briens follows the family from The Law of Dreams two generations later: Joe O'Brien is coming of age in a new century in remote Pontiac County, Quebec, with his brothers and sisters by his side.

Their father has abandoned the family and died in the South African war; their frail mother has remarried the abusive and lecherous Mick Heaney. Joe and his siblings escape the poverty and violence of the Pontiac, but as Joe travels the continent, building an empire and a bright young family with his wife, Iseult, he is never quite able to leave his past behind.

Told from the perspectives of Joe, Iseult, and their children and spanning the construction of the Canadian railroad as well as both world wars, this novel mirrors the scope and sweep of what Wilfrid Laurier calls "Canada's Century." Tragic, romantic, and as vivid as the novel that preceded it, The O'Briens is an epic of great heart, imagination, and narrative force.

Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, c2011
ISBN: 9780887842290
Branch Call Number: BEHR
Characteristics: 514 p. ; 22 cm


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Mar 04, 2012

Peter Behrens continues the family saga from "The Law of Dreams". For those who enjoy this genre it is an excellent read.

Sep 26, 2011

This is a continued story of the O'Brien family from the award winning book "The Law of Dreams" although it stands on its own quite nicely. Those who appreciate Peter Behrens writing will enjoy this book.

* Alta Vista Sep 20, 2011

Peter Behrens will be reading from The O'Briens at the Main Library, 120 Metcalfe St. on Tues, Oct 25th, 2011 12:00-1:00.
Don't miss this chance to meet the author!

Cdnbookworm Sep 10, 2011

This is the saga of Joe O'Brien and his family. It starts in the Pontiac region along the Ottawa River, but ranges across North America to the Canadian Rockies, to Venice Beach, California, and back again. Joe spends most of his married life in Montreal, as does one of his brothers. We see the strong feelings around families here with Joe's support for his siblings and theirs for him and his family. We see marital difficulties, influences of war, and the more mundane everyday aspects of life.
Joe is involved in the Canadian railway boom, the military industry of both World Wars, and construction of many infrastructure projects. He dreams big and yet sometimes doesn't know what he really wants. We see how people love each other, but don't always understand each other.
This is an engaging book, with characters that capture the imagination.

debwalker Jul 31, 2011

"in giving his family a past few of them knew existed, Behrens has made them unforgettably alive."
John Barber
Globe & Mail
July 29 2011

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