This was my first Ivan Doig, and it was an unexpected delight. Doig's deliciously droll delivery and richly drawn characters make him the kind of storyteller we all wish for and rarely find. There's something so comforting and lyrical about the subtle repetition of themes and that perfect narrative voice---what Ivan Doig himself calls "the poetry of the vernacular."The characters in The Whistling Season just pop right off the page. I miss them already. I loved Toby, with his sweet innocence and optimism; mischievous and resourceful Damon; scholarly Paul and his obsession with Latin; and the industrious, kindhearted Rose. My favorite character may just be Rose's brother Morris. At first he comes across as a bit of a dandy and a bumbler, but turns out to be a formidable teacher who can rise to any challenge. His scholarly manner of speaking just tickled me no end. And then of course, there's the father Oliver. He's the one solid, stable figure in the story, keeping it together for his three motherless boys. The Whistling Season is a love story in every way. It's about love of family, love of learning, love of nature and the changing seasons, and especially, love of good old-fashioned humor.