Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1) By Benedict Freedman

A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of the Great North to life-and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon.

Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1)

SUMMARY Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1)

I first read this when I was about 13 or 14 years old and remembered it fondly. After all these years I was afraid it might be too sanitized for my grown-up self. I needn't have worried. Pollyanna Sunshine is nowhere to be found, and my years of life experience only made the book more meaningful for me. This is a realistic account of the joys and hardships of life in northern Alberta in the early 1900s. I grew so attached to Mike and Katherine that I wanted the story to keep going. It's not surprising that the book has remained popular for over fifty years. Have your tissues ready for the last few chapters. 9780425052396 I’m definitely in the minority here, I wasn’t “wowed” and I really wanted to love this one. It was okay I had spurts of interest here and there. 9780425052396
4.5 Stars! Just a good old fashioned sweet romance!

An oldie but goodie. It was charming, heartbreaking, full of sacrifice and struggles, and a couple devoted to each other through it all!

Who wouldn't fall in love with this?!
9780425052396 In the 1970's I discovered this book in a box of my mother's. It was in a sandwich bag, because the paperback copy was in pieces. My twin sister and I removed it from the bag and read it multiple times. When I saw a review on my GR friend Debbie's account, I knew I had to revisit this classic. This time I listened to the audio version, narrated by Kirsten Potter. What a joy it was to once again travel to the far North with Kathy and her dashing Royal Mountie husband Mike. Even though it has been decades since I last read the book, it was like sitting down with an old friend. No time had passed. Kathy is so young when she married Mike. It is such an adventure to see that remote territory through her eyes. So much happiness and so much pain. Through it all her life is woven into that community and the threads of her life are woven in with so many others. Such a beautiful story that will make you laugh and cry and be inspired to love those around you. What I didn't know before is that there are two more books in the series. Hurray! Onto the next one: The Search for Joyful. 9780425052396 16 year old Bostonian Katherine Mary O'Fallon is sent to Calgary Canada to live with her uncle to help her recover from pleurisy. During her first year (few months) there she meets, falls in love with and marry Sgt. Mike Flannigan of the Northwest Mounted Police.

This book is based on Katherine Mary's life with her husband in the early 1900's in (at the time) uncivilized Calgary, Hudson's Hope and Grouard Canada. Even though this book is, IMO, simply written, it has the knack of pulling the reader into the pages. It takes the reader from meeting Kathy for the first time as she is train bound to meet her Uncle as a city girl and unsure of herself in this huge big country that is her new home. We grow with her as she meets Mike for the first time and we fall in love as she does. As Kathy follows Mike to Hudson's Hope where he is stationed, we go along with her, filled with excitement and trepidation as she leaves civilization to make a new home in the wilderness, where she is the only white woman.

The reader must remember this book is set in the early 1900's and first published in 1947. At the time there was no such thing as P/C and there are many descriptions of Indians that would today be considered prejudiced and derogatory; but we must again remember it was the acceptable language of the time. Even through these portrayals, we can see the love and respect that Kathy and Mike have for their native neighbors and friends.

There is humor, hardship, loss, but most of all love in this book. Love for the new friends that Kathy makes, love for the land, love for the adventure of new challenges - but most of all love for her Sgt. Mike Flannigan.

Mrs. Mike has been a lifelong favorite book. I've got a battered paperback that's been in my personal library for years, and I've been curious to see how well the novel holds now that I'm older and a little more critical of my reading material. The answer is: very well, especially considering that this book was written in 1947.

This semi-fictional (reportedly mostly fictional) autobiographical novel follows the life, loves, adventures, sorrows and joys of the real-life Katherine Mary O'Fallon Flannigan, a 16 year old Boston girl who is sent by her family to Calgary in 1907 to visit her uncle and recover from a bout of pleurisy in the clean, dry air of Canada. (You can already tell there's some fictionalizing going on here, since the real Kathy was only 8 years old in 1907.) She meets Mike Flannigan, a tall and handsome Canadian Mountie, who - well aware from personal experience of the huge shortage of white women in the Canadian northern territories, and knowing a good thing when he sees it, even if she's sixteen - promptly sweeps Kathy off her feet. After a whirlwind romance, they marry and Mike takes Kathy off to the isolated areas of British Columbia and northern Alberta. By dog sled.

So far this sounds like a romance, but the heart of the story is Kathy's life experiences in northern Canada in the early 1900s, where civilization and doctors are far away, natural disasters and plagues can wipe out families, childbirth and childhood are fraught with danger, and people need to rely on each other. Life gets real for Kathy, fast.

There are many dealings with the native tribes, and blunt descriptions of the problems and prejudices many of the white characters have with and against them. This novel is set a hundred years and was written almost 70 years ago, and these stories are not told in a PC way, at all, but underlying that is a deep respect that Kathy and Mike have for the native people and their way of life. Their sensitivity is actually quite heartening to me, considering how long ago this was written.

The story is told in a simple and straightforward way. It's heart-wrenching and several times brought me to tears, but ultimately it's inspiring and hopeful. I enjoyed this both as a teen and as an adult.

4.5 stars, partly - I'll admit it - for the huge nostalgia factor, but I also think this is a great story with insight into life, love and the human condition, combined with some wonderful history about life in the wilds of northern Canadian, over a hundred years ago. 9780425052396 I remember vividly the first time I read this story about the Canadian wilderness. I was 12 and it was visiting day. Visiting day meant we traveled to spend the day with my bachelor uncle. He lived by himself in a huge old house and firmly believed children in his home should be seen and not heard. There were no kids living nearby. I was not allowed to watch television or listen to music in his home. And the town was so small there was nothing to do. There wasn't even a park. So visiting days were horrible for me. And my parents would not allow me to stay home. It made for a bleak and awful Sunday. But this time, I ventured upstairs in the old creaky house. Uncle had suffered from polio when he was a young boy, and he wore a brace on one leg. He never ventured upstairs. The steps were too steep. With the excuse of going up to dust and refresh the two upstairs bedrooms and bathroom, I escaped up the stairs so there was no way I could accidentally peeve my curmudgeon uncle. In one of the rooms, there was a bookcase. Books! Something to do! I found a couple books by James Herriot I had read before....those would work in a pinch. But then I spied a paperback that looked interesting. Mrs. Mike. It had a picture of a sled dog team on the front. I loved adventure stories with animals, so I grabbed the book and lay down across the old four poster bed. I spent the entire afternoon reading about the life of Mary Katherine O'Fallon Flannigan. Lovely book! Over the years, I have read this story again and again.....and I enjoy it just as much as I did that first time.

The Basics: Mary Katherine O'Fallon is sent to Alberta to live with an uncle at 16. She suffers from pleurisy and doctors say the cold, dry air will be good for her. She meets Mike Flannigan, a mountie, and marries him. They travel North and build a life together, serving natives at Brouard, Lesser Slave Lake and other remote areas in Alberta and British Columbia. Their life is hard at times, but Katherine learns to love Mike, the native people they serve, and the wilderness with all her heart.

The story is told with humor, emotion and realism, and is based on the real life story of Katherine. (The Freedmans did admit that Katherine might have embellished her story somewhat as some of the details could never be corroborated, but it's a delightful story even if portions of it didn't really happen). I have tried several times to look up information about Mary Katherine O'Fallon (Flannigan) or to find photos/information about Mike or Katherine online. But, information is sparse. All I found out is that Mike died in 1944 from a ruptured appendix. Following his death, Katherine came back to the states, remarried and ventured out to California to try to sell her life story as a movie idea. She was directed to the Freedmans for a possible book instead. The book was written and sold quite well. Then the Freedmans sold the movie rights to the book and a film version starring Dick Powell was released in 1949. Katherine attempted to sue the movie studio and the Freedmans for $25,000, but was unsuccessful. She was told she had a contract regarding the book with the Freedmans,but had no rights to money from the film. I would love to see the movie! But I have yet to find a copy or any streaming service that has it. At some point it will pop up online, and I will finally get to see Dick Powell as Mike Flannigan!

A sweet mix of adventure and romance, this is a lovely book! A copy is always on my keeper shelf. The Freedmans wrote two fictional sequels, The Search for Joyful and Kathy Little Bird. I haven't read the sequels yet. I loved the original book because it was based on a true story. The two sequels are fiction. Sequels can be so disappointing, so I have never worked up the courage to read either book. I am striving this year to read more books I have always wanted to read but never found the time.....maybe this year I will take a chance and read the two sequels to Mrs. Mike.

This time, I listened to the audiobook version of Mrs. Mike. Narrated by Kirsten Potter, the audio is just over 11.5 hours. Potter read an even pace, with good inflection. She was wonderful at all the different accents....Irish, French, native and Boston. :) A very enjoyable listen! 9780425052396 It's not easy to write a viable romance. Try it some time. It's hard to avoid being schmaltzy; hard to stay away from corny lines or disintegrate into torrid tales of heaving bosoms and leopard print loin cloths.

And so, the first thing I want to say about Mrs. Mike is. . . it's a lovely, viable, not schmaltzy love story. Despite its publication date of 1947, it's not that antiquated in its sensibilities, either. Yes, the protagonist marries at the age of 16, but even though that was still young amongst society ladies in the early twentieth century, it wasn't unheard of. And Katherine Mrs. Mike Flannigan is neither a damsel in distress nor a revolting pushover.

This is an historic fiction that takes place largely in the frigid, untamed woods of Calgary, Alberta. Some passages feel a little made for tv special, some passages are perfectly inspired. I struggled in one regard: I felt that only the protagonist was truly formed. To me, all of the other characters suffered somewhat from their one-dimensional, less formed states, but the protagonist had such personality and voice, she mostly made up for it.

There's tragedy, too, and I wasn't expecting it, but somehow, it adds to the credibility of the bonds that this extraordinary couple share.

Lovely lines are peppered throughout, but here were two of my favorites:

. . . death does not stand at the end of life, it is all through it. It is the fear of losing, the knowledge of losing that makes love tender. 9780425052396 This wasn't on my list of scheduled reads but while I was in a bookstore last month to purchase a book for a Christmas exchange, I saw Mrs. Mike on the shelves and felt compelled to buy this much beloved book.

I'm often asked what my favorite book is. I always answer that I don't have one; there are many books I love but they are too different to say one is superior to another.

I have changed my mind. Mrs. Mike is my favorite book.

A coming of age story set in the Canadian North in the year 1907, Katherine Mary O'Fallon, a young woman of 16, goes to live with her uncle somewhere north of Calgary as treatment for her pleurisy. There she meets Sergeant Mike Flannigan, a Mountie who has eyes so blue she could swim in them. They are eventually married after a brief (but fantastically romantic) courtship and she follows him by dog sled to the arctic wilderness to live among the fur traders and Indians.

I love this book for many reasons. Most importantly, as a book, it's my first love. Mrs. Mike was the book that made me realized how much a book could move and stick with me for years. I rarely re-read a book, but I believe I've read Mrs. Mike five times now. Each time, my stomach swoons when Kathy and Mike fall in love, I laugh when Kathy covers her daughter and Mike spanks Kathy instead, I cry when the unimaginable happens and I sigh as I close the book, thinking the line at the very end is one of the best ever written.

Another reason I love this book is that it's based on a real woman's life who the authors met before writing the book. I'm sure it's juiced from the reality, but even the skeleton of the story is moving.

I can't claim that it's the best written book. It is simple in structure, dialogue and description, but as I've read more and more over the years, and compare it to other literature, I believe the style matches the story perfectly.

It's the kind of book I can't help but promise that anyone who reads it will love it. But I also know that with our diverse personalities and preferences, it wouldn't be true. Like a biased mother who adores her baby, I don't think I'd enjoy anyone pointing out the flaws of this book. Perhaps its eyes are too close together and the head oddly-shaped, but it's my baby, and I think it's the most beautiful thing in the world. 9780425052396 This book is well-written. it's interesting, and it has very high reviews. I think I might be the only female in the world to not like this book. Here is my summary:

The book starts off with a 16-year old Boston girl in the 1900's taking the train to the Canadian Wild West to live with her uncle. The girl is the narrator and she is clever, and funny.

Kate gets to Canada and is told there aren't a lot of women up there because they are too soft for this land. Kate meets Mike, a Canadian Mounty and falls in love in five seconds at most. They are married a week later and their honeymoon is a 700-mile trek across the frozen tundra that Mike worries will be too harsh for Kate because This is no place for a women.

She gets sick on the trek and Mike saves her. In the next chapter The wilderness is too much for her and she goes temporarily insane. Luckily, Mike is there to save her.

A fire breaks out and Kate runs for the river along with all the other survivors. In the river she meets a mom with three young babies. Kate takes one. Finally! I think. Kate is growing a backbone! She will do something not-useless. Alas, the river and smoke are too much for her and Mike has to come save her AND the baby.

Kate becomes pregnant and delivers a baby. The pain is too much for and she screams and drifts through consciousness. Mike steps in and saves her and the baby.

It was at this point I threw the book across the room because, surely, women aren't too soft for childbirth.

It's not just the sexism and the overall uselessness of Kate, it's the racism that made me sick to my stomach. When the book says things like You have to tell them one thing at at time because they can only keep one thing in their head and that an abused wife stayed with her husband because that's the Indian way it really made me ill. Maybe, as a women, I was just too soft for this book. 9780425052396