Read Roses Are Difficult Here by W.O. Mitchell Online


This is a novel of small-town life. The town where roses are difficult is Shelby, in the Alberta foothills, and the time is the 1950s. Matt Stanley, the editor of the local paper, relishes the range of people he meets, from Willie MacCrimmon, the local shoemaker and demon curler, to the oldest resident, Daddy Sherry, all the way to the disreputable Rory Napoleon and his wiThis is a novel of small-town life. The town where roses are difficult is Shelby, in the Alberta foothills, and the time is the 1950s. Matt Stanley, the editor of the local paper, relishes the range of people he meets, from Willie MacCrimmon, the local shoemaker and demon curler, to the oldest resident, Daddy Sherry, all the way to the disreputable Rory Napoleon and his wife, Mame, who once conceived at the top of a ferris wheel “because there was nothing else to do.” But when a sociologist arrives to study the town, Matt takes her under his wing, which produces unexpected results. From scenes of high comedy (as when Santa comes to Shelby, or when Rory Napoleon’s goats invade the town) to gentle sadness, this 1990 novel shows W.O Mitchell at his traditional best....

Title : Roses Are Difficult Here
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780771061097
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Roses Are Difficult Here Reviews

  • Erin L
    2019-05-06 17:20

    I'm not sure why I've resisted W.O. Mitchell's work. The man was born in my home province and he writes a novel about the small town prairie way of life. I picked this book up as part of a challenge and I was quickly sucked into the small, foothills town where it is set.The back cover tells me that while Mitchell was born in Saskatchewan, he lived most of his life in High River, Alberta. While the book isn't set specifically in High River (a town near where I currently live) you can see the influence the town and the area had on this specific book.I wondered when I began my read, how a book that was set in the 1950's in rural Alberta would be relevant and interesting to me. As someone who grew up in a small town and often longs to return there, I saw many of my experiences reflected here. Sure, it's not exactly where I grew up and not exactly the same people who populated my town, but the feeling was there. The author clearly knows a small prairie town well and is unafraid to show it in his work - warts and all.At the end of the book, it's a story about a small town. The author added some goats and a sociologist to make things interesting. And there's one specific scene that was absolutely perfect in build up and execution, but so was the book overall.Mitchell has earned his reputation in Canadian Literature. It's time I read more of his work.

  • Elaine Cougler
    2019-04-28 12:00

    Roses Are Difficult Here by W.O. Mitchell is a novel of small-town life in Alberta, complete with prairie stereotypes and modern-day exceptions. Centered around a big-city journalist-turned-small-town-editor, the novel focuses on people issues through Matt Stanley. Except for Matt Stanley Mitchell's characters are pretty flat. I did, however, envy the author's use of words--Mitchell is a master of language.

  • Ronald Kelland
    2019-05-10 11:02

    I tried to read this book a few years ago, but I lost patience with it and gave up. I revisited it this year and discovered that it was a delightful novel, and very rural western Canadian (granted, what else would one expect from W.O. Mitchell. I think it was that rural aspect that caused me to lose patience before, however, my job since then has caused me to spend a good deal of time in small-town Alberta, so perhaps I can appreciate the setting and the characters more now. The book strikes we as it describes a small town community and how it's people are united by ties of love and friendship, but they are also tied together by petty jealousies and suspicions, all of which are drawn out by a visit by an academic doing a sociological study, seeing all of the town's failings, but missing its strengths. The book is very funny in places, very reminiscent of Leacock's Sunshine Sketches, but it has a poignancy that is very relatable. Set in the 1950s, when rural Alberta is just entering its slow decline after the Leduc oil discovery, and written decades later when many rural communities were essentially dead, Roses are Difficult Here is a touching lament for a changing Alberta and does a good job in explaining what is being lost in the passing of of our small town communities. A great book.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-09 09:55

    Roses Are Difficult Here is a stunning portrait of 1950's rural life in Canada. Both historical and nostalgic, it's a truly amazing piece of literature.

  • Surreysmum
    2019-04-22 14:50

    Roses are Difficult Here I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to my first W.O. Mitchell - perhaps because he's gone out of fashion as a Canadian literary icon. The title took my eye because I heard that phrase often in my Alberta youth: roses are indeed difficult in that climate. The other difficulties in that climate, but in the fifties - chiefly class difficulties - are the backdrop and theme of this novel. In the foreground is a cluster of engaging characters and a plot with a ludicrous climax involving a stampede of goats.Our narrator is nice guy and small-town journalist Matt, who is affected by two different mass poisonings in his town: one, the literal poisoning of many household dogs, and two, a poison-pen letter campaign against himself, (falsely) claiming he's having an affair with a visiting sociologist.  In both of those campaigns, he finds himself in a rather passive state because he has no real knowledge, and the solution of each brings him pain. He gains a little knowledge of himself, as well, discovering that he has allowed himself to drift passively into mediocrity. When the female sociologist, who had seemed vaguely appealing though emotionally distant, publishes a volume that tears his hometown to shreds, Matt finally discovers in his defence against that volume the passion to write as he really can.Every so often, Mitchell throws in an observation of the natural world of the Canadian West that rings very true. This was a delightful read for me.

  • Lorraine
    2019-05-16 15:12

    I found some parts of the book difficult to get through. Very long prose. But there's a point to all that writing and it comes toward the ending so yes, it's difficult reading at times, but the ending will make it all worth while. Beautiful and poignant book.My son attended a school named in honour of W.O. Mitchell so I was intrigued to find out what kind of author Mitchell was. This book was definitely a good introduction to his writing.

  • Garth Mailman
    2019-05-07 14:05

    W. O. Mitchell is the writer of Jake and the Kid. He writes about small town and rural prairie life but his modest settings belie a social analysis as sophisticated as that of the sociologist that in this novel is studying the people of Shelby, Alberta. The book is filled with the kind of characters that thrive in small towns and also the claustrophobia that such a closed environment can lead to. But there is also comfort in small town life.

  • Vionna
    2019-05-05 15:03

    Set in a small town in the foothills of Alberta, Mitchell tells a wonderful tale of the town’s inhabitants and their life in the late 1960s. His diverse characters come alive amid laughter and some tears.

  • Genevieve
    2019-05-19 15:54

    It was super hard to get through because I didn't understand most of what the guy was saying, but other than that it was fine... The author is good at writing but not for my age group...