• Title: A Report from Winter
  • Author: Wayne Courtois
  • ISBN: 9781590212356
  • Page: 484
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Report from Winter A Report from Winter is a death in the family story a love story and a meditation on the meaning of winter as a season and as a metaphor for family relationships It s January and southern Main
    A Report from Winter is a death in the family story, a love story, and a meditation on the meaning of winter as a season and as a metaphor for family relationships It s January 1998, and southern Maine is recovering from one of the worst ice storms in history Into this unforgiving environment comes the author, flying home from Kansas City after a ten year absence HisA Report from Winter is a death in the family story, a love story, and a meditation on the meaning of winter as a season and as a metaphor for family relationships It s January 1998, and southern Maine is recovering from one of the worst ice storms in history Into this unforgiving environment comes the author, flying home from Kansas City after a ten year absence His mother, Jennie, is dying of cancer Though receiving excellent care in a nursing home, she has lost the ability to communicate Needing support, Wayne makes an SOS call to Ralph, his longtime partner Ralph boards a plane to Portland for his first exposure to a Maine winter, and to Wayne s family as well, including a feisty aunt and an emotionally distant brother The contrast between a nurturing gay relationship and dysfunctional family bonds is as sharp as the wind sweeping in from the sea Stubbornly unsentimental, A Report from Winter weaves childhood memories of winter with the harsh realities of living in a family where there s not enough love to go around The memoir is a tribute to hard won relationships built on mutual trust and understanding, defying an uncaring world.

    One Reply to “A Report from Winter”

    1. This wonderfully written memoir tells the story of the author's journey back home to be at the bedside of his dying mother. It's January 1998 and Wayne Courtois is back in Maine after a ten year absence during which he has had only minimal contact with his family. Having grown up in an emotionally closed off family with barely any love or attention shown by his parents or older brother Wayne has dealt with mental health issues, including a suicide attempt in his twenties, that apparently with th [...]

    2. The book concerns Wayne returning to his childhood home in Maine after a ten-year absence to attend a bedside vigil for his mother Jenny, who is dying of cancer. His emotionally bereft gay brother, Bruce and his quietly complaining Aunt Louise are of little solace, and he is forced to call Ralph, who has never met Wayne’s family – or had to endure a Maine winter – to his side to preserve his sanity. He weaves this story with memories of another childhood winter, showing that time rarely ch [...]

    3. Originally reviewed for Uniquely Pleasurable 8 out of 10 starsThere’s a freedom to reviewing a memoir that one seldom gets when reviewing fiction. On one hand, both narrative fiction and memoir can be held to the same standard when it comes to fluidity of prose, voice and style. On the other hand, one can’t apply the same standard when it comes to character arcs or “plot,” because in memoir, the author doesn’t have the luxury of instructing the characters to grow and change, to do his [...]

    4. A Report From WinterBy Wayne CourtoisLethe Press, 2009A Report From Winter is a memoir, which is one of my favorite forms of literature, and knowing that it’s true makes it all the more poignant. It’s said that most families are dysfunctional, and some more so than others. It’s clear early on that the Courtois family falls under the “more so” category. The family portrayed here are real, three-dimensional human beings, flawed and needful, as they attend the final days of the mother. Th [...]

    5. This memoir has already received high praise from numerous quarters and after reading the gripping account, I can add that it is all well deserved. This honest account is filled with memories and dreams of the author’s childhood, his first date with his partner, and his quiet dysfunctional family. Although the summary calls this book stubbornly unsentimental, I would argue that the narrative is heavily sentimental but written with a brutal, almost painful honesty that yearns for something more [...]

    6. 'And anything I say, it's justa report from winter.'Wayne Courtois seems to be taking a lot of chances, writing a memoir whose focus is the death of his mother, a woman who was everything but supportive to him as a child in a childhood in Maine that was wrought with pain and lack of warmth - even in the summer months of this well-painted state! Courtois manages to describe his life both in the present as he describes his return to his home in Maine after wandering about the country searching for [...]

    7. Book Review: A Report From Winter a memoir by Wayne CourtoisReviewed by Alan ChinPublished by Lethe PressIn the dead of winter, after a ten-year absence, Wayne Courtois journeys back to his family home in Maine to attend to his dying mother. He is soon assaulted by three facts: the bitter cold winters in Maine are much more brutal than he remembered, his mother’s cancer is much further along than he anticipated, and his emotionally distant brother will be of no help in caring for their mother [...]

    8. I would love to deliver a copy of “A Report from Winter” into the hands of every opponent to gay marriage. I, for one, am glad that we are inching toward the option of marriage for same-sex-couples, but like most, am hesitant to embrace the traditional heterosexual rite of passage, as would Wayne and his partner Ralph even though they are as married as gay men get. Wayne is forced to deal with the lingering death of his estranged and verbally abusive mother, consoled only by his distant and [...]

    9. This memoir of a gay man returning to Maine to see his dying mother and reconnecting with other family members is extremely heart-felt and moving. As someone born and raised in Northern Maine, who now lives "away", I found many details in this book to be spot-on and at times humorous. Returning to Maine, especially in winter, after years of not being there can be a very interesting experience and I feel the author did a good job of capturing those details. This is a very personal memoir and yet [...]

    10. Memoirs are sometimes difficult things to read. When done well, they can often cut too close to the bone, creating a schism amongst a reader’s reactions. When done poorly, they are just like any other genre and end up getting dismissed as self-indulgent, or a waste of reading time. A Report from Winter falls into the former category, and while the subject matter of a parent’s death might not necessarily lend itself to casual reading, the writer’s keen, stark prose and decidedly unidealisti [...]

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