The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie Macdonald

The Way the Crow Flies

byAnn-Marie Macdonald

Kobo ebook | July 27, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info


Prices and offers may vary in store

Available for download

Not available in stores


“The sun came out after the war and our world went Technicolor. Everyone had the same idea. Let’s get married. Let’s have kids. Let’s be the ones who do it right.”

The Way the Crow Flies, the second novel by bestselling, award-winning author Ann-Marie MacDonald,is set on the Royal Canadian Air Force station of Centralia during the early sixties. It is a time of optimism--infused with the excitement of the space race but overshadowed by the menace of the Cold War--filtered through the rich imagination and quick humour of eight-year-old Madeleine McCarthy and the idealism of her father, Jack, a career officer.

Ann-Marie MacDonald said in a discussion with Oprah Winfrey about her first book, “a happy ending is when someone can walk out of the rubble and tell the story.” Madeleine achieves her childhood dream of becoming a comedian, yet twenty years later she realises she cannot rest until she has renewed the quest for the truth, and confirmed how and why the child was murdered.. Publishers Weekly,in a starred review, called The Way the Crow Flies“absorbing, psychologically rich…a chronicle of innocence betrayed”. With compassion and intelligence, and an unerring eye for the absurd as well as the confusions of childhood, , MacDonald evokes the confusion of being human and the necessity of coming to terms with our imperfections.

Title:The Way the Crow FliesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 27, 2011Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307375919

ISBN - 13:9780307375919

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! This book is absolutely amazing! I finished it over a month ago and I miss reading it
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Loving Her This was the first book I read of Ann Marie MacDonald and I can't say that I was all that impressed. It was slow in most parts, very disturbing (I like that), but most of it was hard to get through.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I don't generally like fictionalized accounts of real events -- but I loved this. It sucked me in from the first page and I didn't ever want to put it down. A great read by a great author. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! Very interesting story with a Canadian feel. Was not aware the story was based on true events which sparked my interest even further to look into the background.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Entertaining book....Canadian feeling..great characters...would recommend to all...worth the read. Emotional
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way the Crow Flies Absolutely fabulous! I totally loved this book, couldn't put it down until it was finished.
Date published: 2014-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story it's one of those books that makes you want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. Great mystery. the setting for the story is well fitted. It's one of those you wish there was a movie on.
Date published: 2011-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book.. I read this book a few years back and LOVED it. I got a Kobo eReader for xmas and was VERY excited to see it listed as an ebook. when i clicked on it, the kobo website says "not available internationally". why is that a book by a canadian author is available to the US and not in Canada ?? I'm very dissappointed and was looking forward to reading this book again .
Date published: 2010-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very, very good book 4.25 stars. It is the early 1960s. Jack, Mimi and their two kids, Madeleine and Mike, are moving home to Canada from Germany. Jack is part of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and is moving to Centralia, Ontario to train new pilots. They are a happy, normal family, and are able to fit into their new community fairly quickly. After they are there for some time and have all made some good friends, something happens in the community that shatters their lives, as well as the lives of all the families around them. Jack and Madeleine, in particular, have secrets they are keeping, but it’s becoming more and more difficult. I thought it was very realistic, right from the first few pages with Mike and Madeleine fighting in the backseat of the car. Most of the story was told from either Madeleine’s or Jack’s point of view, but there were parts that were from other character’s points of view, as well. I have to admit that I found my mind drifting through parts involving politics and the military (some of Jack’s part of the story). But overall, a very, very good book.
Date published: 2010-06-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A good book but sadly also monotonous I found this book so difficult to get through. I was engrossed at parts, but at other times the book lagged. The book was beautifully written. The overall plot was was interesting, it was based loosely on the life of Stephen Truscott, but as I said before, it is very monotonous. If you are a patient person, I would recommend this book.
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible! This was an incredible book. While it was long and probably could've done without some of the politics, there are so many twists and turns that keep you on your toes throughout. Once again, MacDonald manages to draw out every main emotion; love, hate, disgust and comfort, among many others. I strongly recommend this book to anyone, as it touches base on so many different topics, but does so in a way that it pulls the whole story together.
Date published: 2008-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way the Crow Flies I just reviewed this book on my shelf, it was intriguing and engrossing. And what a wild twist at the end.
Date published: 2008-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific! After reading "Fall on your knees", I went hunting for another book by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I was very pleased with this book as well. I liked Fall on Your Knees a bit better, but this one was still terrific, and I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2007-12-30
Date published: 2007-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!!!!! I read 'fall on your knees' by Ann-Marie Macdonald before I read this one, and it melted my heart just as much! She is an incredible author. I could not put this book down for a second!! I would recommend this book to anybody! PLEASE READ IT!
Date published: 2007-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the Fight! When I first started reading this book I found it IMPOSSIBLE, but as i forced myself to read on I was glad I did. Once I got about a quarter of the way through I couldn't put it down. Ann-marie MacDonald has an incredible gift for character. I felt everything that Madeline felt. And in the end I was even greatful for the history lesson that seemed so boring at the beginning. I definately recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys a good emotion evoking read.
Date published: 2006-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It This book was excellent. It was a great story that kept you thinking and wondering what will happen next. Highly recommend it to anyone!
Date published: 2006-06-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Convoluted Mess After reading and loving Fall on Your Knees, I eagerly awaited Anne-Marie Macdonald's next offering. What a disappointment! This book definitely could have used another re-write or a more concientious editor. There are entire sections that could have been thrown out because they didn't lend anyting to the plot or the thematic tapestry Macdonald was obviously trying to create. The book ends up being a scatter-brained excercise with the author straining to find her voice. Macdonald wanted to cram so much into this story that she loses sight of her intentions. Though her knack for characterization is still firmly in place (there are characters in here it won't be easy to forget), this book chugs along at such a meandering pace that trying to finish it feels like spending a month giving blood.
Date published: 2006-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite book ever !!! This book is a must read, as is Ann Marie MacDonald's wonderful first book Fall on Your Knees. I've recommended this book to all my friends and my copy is still making the rounds. It's a long read, but worth it!
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Super Long I'm a total long-book lover... I usually can't get enough of a book and would rather it have more than less - This book on the other hand was so long that I felt myself losing interest and was reading just to finish. The story definitely could have been chopped in half, and there were so many things that were repeated it was annoying. It's really too bad that the length played a part in my review because it was a good storyline. I just couldn't get passed the never-ending filler. I haven't read Fall on Your Knees but if it's anything like this, I'll pass.
Date published: 2006-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Way the Crow Flies This was an amazing story. I became so involved in the lives of the characters, I really had a difficult time putting the book down. It kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the end. It encouraged me to research the Steven Truscott story, with which I was unfamiliar, since I didn't grow up in Ontario. One negative comment: The author goes overboard in her descriptions. At various points in the book her level of detail was making me mad; I just wanted to get on to the story. This book could have been 200 pages shorter.
Date published: 2006-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read!! This book is spectacular!! I found myself unable to put it down and when it was finished I didn't want it to end!!
Date published: 2006-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterful This is one of the best novels I have read in the past few years, and I highly recommend it. After an engaging beginning, I did find that the pace slowed a little more than I would have liked, and in a few spots I found that I had to press on, but the story gains momentum again and I eagerly read through to see where MacDonald would take me with her story. The story is rich, complex, and masterfully told, and the character development is extraordinary. One of the things I most enjoyed was how MacDonald begins by painting a rose-tainted, perhaps even stereotypical picture of a bygone era, then when you've just about had your fill she slowly begins to chip away at that image, giving it contradictions and flaws and depth in many shades of gray, making in wholely believable. Whether this was done deliberately for the reader to follow Madeleine's coming-of-age and loss of innocence or not, I don't know, but I enjoyed the process. This is truly a remarkable novel.
Date published: 2005-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ!! This book drew me in right in the first chapter and I could hardly put it down. I found myself getting so attached to the characters that I even shed a tear or two for them. This book is a must read!! Bravo!!
Date published: 2005-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way The Crow Flies Anne-Marire MacDonald weaves a compelling story with intricate character development. Her gift of story-telling, transports the reader into the can smell the air and feel the temperature. You don't have to be a child of the sixties to enjoy this book. I highly recommmend this read to all.
Date published: 2005-01-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Needs Editing!! It's called editing, and Ann Marie MacDonald needs an editor . The only reason I finished the book was because it was our book club selection. While the beginning held promise, there were, as a previous review stated, lots and lots of words , it just never got more interesting. I read MacDonald's previous book, Fall on Your Knees, and had found it only slightly more compelling. I do think, however, that a CHANGE OF SUBJECT is in order. Perhaps she could write about something other than child sexual abuse? Yes, I too believe that Ann-Marie MacDonald is in way over her head and just because the CBC may celebrate her work doesn't mean she actually is a literary genius , or even a competent author. I felt that the basic plot was good, but it just didn't turn out to be worth it to try and finish the book. It became so tedious, that I found myself flipping pages just to weed out the body of the plot from the detritus. AVOID THIS BOOK, (unless you have insomnia).
Date published: 2005-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way the Crow Flies I was so taken back by the literary genius we call Ann-Marie MacDonald. I was a little apprehensive when I first picked up this book thinking there's no way it could compare to her 'Fall on Your Knees' but again I was amazed just how excellent and outstanding this book is. Both MacDonald books I've read are so magical and yes do take awhile to get into, but jeez once you're captivated by it's beauty it's damn near impossible to put down.
Date published: 2004-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable A wonderful story, that captures the spirit of the 60s and 70's with delightful ease. Great historical references regarding Canada's involvement in the world wars as well as the cold war and the race for the moon. Character development is wonderful and it was difficult to let go of Mimi, Madeleine, Colleen, and even Rex in the end. This is a delightful story, despite dark undercurrents of child abuse, the holocaust, and many of the other injustices too common in this world. It was a walk down memory lane with bugs bunny and air raid sirens, stay at home moms, and running through sprinklers. And, it was a gut wrenching study of human nature. A wonderful book that I can't wait to pass around to friends. I am looking forward to MacDonald's next book. This one was even better that Fall on Your Knees - this author is definately honing her craft.
Date published: 2004-12-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from BORING!! This one just doesn't cut it. I gave up after three tries, hoping it would get interesting, but no such luck. Lots and lots of words, going nowhere. I had hoped for better because I'd just read the new book about Steven Truscott, but this was just too dull to finish. And MacDonald should either research her material or stop writing about things that happened before her time. I can assure her that no fathers in the 1950s were 'jogging' -- that's a term that didn't even come into play until about the 1970s. Little anachronisms like this just make it clear that she's over her depth. AVOID THIS BOOK.
Date published: 2004-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The way the crow flies I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book despite it being depressing for much of the duration. The author is able to switch voices in a way that makes the characters really come alive and become vividly memorable.
Date published: 2004-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving I just finished reading this book, and I loved it. I found it a bit hard to get into at first, but then suddenly I couldn't put it down. The writing was vivid and insightful and I was particularly moved by the ending. I definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2004-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, and scary I found myself reluctant to put this book down, life kept feeling like an interruption. The story grabbed me and carried me along, breathless. The central character felt more real than I do in my own life! This is the second book by Anne-Marie MacDonald that I've read and, in both, the writing is crafted and the plot is skillfully drawn. She invigorates the sense of place and reveals her characters with love and a devotion that holds back nothing. Read this book!
Date published: 2004-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memories Rekindled ***** I have read and reread this book, and have found myself sitting in the classroom,then running down St. Lawrence Drive, over to Algonquin and back again to the playground and into the corn fields. As a former resident of the base 1961-67, I found it to be so realistic as only those who has lived there could. Thanks so much for the memories, as they were stirred over and over again as I read this excellent book.
Date published: 2004-08-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I really enjoyed Fall on Your Knees and it is now on my list of favorite books that I recommend to all of my friends. I think that MacDonald is a wonderful writer but this book was extremely disappointing. In my opinion, this novel could have been cut into 1/3!! The first 350 pages established the lives of the family but most of the details were unbearably repetitive. When the climax of the book had been reached I noticed that there was yet another 200 pages to go!! The rest of the book contained too much irrelevant information which could have been turned into a third book as it seemed to stray into many different directions. I will be reading MacDonald again and I hope she is able to create something as nearly wonderful as Fall on Your Knees!!
Date published: 2004-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Way The Crow Flies I really felt like I was at a 1960s AFB. (My parents were part of that life and based on photos, home movies and stories, Ann Marie McDonald really nailed it!) The character development and vivid descriptions made the story come to life. As I was reading it, if I was interuppted, it took a second to bring myself back to 2004. However, I did feel that some parts were unnecessarily over-descriptive and long. Once I get into a book, even a slow period can't deter me but I know that a lot of people will lose interest in a book if it slows down too often or for too long. The fact that all the loose ends are not tied up during the 60s makes it seem more real and less a neat, tidy story.
Date published: 2004-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My new favorite book... This latest work from MacDonald has moved her into the category of my new favorite author. I have never felt such a connection with fictional characters. I was able to attend a reading by MacDonald and left with a huge, stupid grin on my face - she was fantastic! I would recommend this book to anyone but be sure to start it on the weekend because you won't want to put it down.
Date published: 2004-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ensconsed in top Echelon of CanLit With this work Ms. MacDonald has firmly established herself in the top echelon of CanLit. Ever watch a horror movie and yell at the screen: Don't open the door! The monster is in there! . You, the viewer, see the opportunity coming and are powerless to stop the action. Such it is with this book. For the sake of a small lie, for the sake of the greater good, at the expense of children, this uptopian settlement is simmering just below the surface with all the horror that we humans can conjure up. International espianage, child abuse, love, sex, marriage, cartoons, humour, politics, murder, police, sports, war, this book has it all. It reminded me of my life as a child at the same time as the setting of the book. How well Ms. MacDonald notes and details the everyday-ness of life as it was then, making the innocence of the early 1960's look so niave in retrospect. Can't wait for the movie!
Date published: 2004-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way The Crow Flies I was given this as a Christmas gift from my sister.When I curled up with this book during our recent snow storm I was not disappointed. I can't wait for her third!
Date published: 2004-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Somewhat disapointed... I will say that Ann-Marie MacDonald has a talent for making the characters come to life. In this way it was well done. However, I can't help but feel disapointed. I have no qualms about a long book, but The way the crow flies had what seemed to be a lot of unnecessary filler for long periods of time. Also, it seemed as though the themes of the first book (Fall on Your Knees) were simply re-used and re-written. All in all the book was alright, but when in contrast with Fall on Your Knees, it really fell short.
Date published: 2004-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way The Crow Flies Anne Marie MacDonald has done it again! She's managed to captivate the reader in the untangling web of her story. The Way The Crow Flies kept me wanting to read more to find out what will happen next. She will keep you at the edge of your seat, even up to the closing of the story. Great read! I look forward to MacDonald's third novel.
Date published: 2003-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is a great novel I would recommend this to anyone who wants to connect with characters. I was brought into these people's lives with a vengence. This may be a great book. Perhaps it is the great Canadian novel ?
Date published: 2003-11-17