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Extended Audio Sample Heart Earth Audiobook, by Ivan Doig Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (281 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivan Doig Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 1993 ISBN: 9781449838225
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National Book Award finalist Ivan Doig had only a vague memory of his mother until he discovered a cache of her letters. They revealed a passionate, can-do woman who loved the lilting rhythm of words. A moving prequel to his acclaimed memoir This House of Sky, Doig’s Heart Earth highlights his childhood before his mother’s death and eloquently captures the texture of the American West, the fortunes of a family, and one woman’s indomitable spirit. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tough and poignant…Heart Earth is a book the repeatedly proves the power of language…Doig uses words like oil paint to create canvasses of enduring value and originality.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “An affecting book, heartbreak in in its recital of the stark severance of a young family’s life, but ennobling in the implacable spirit that infuses its page…[It] endure as [a] magnificent testimonial to the men and women who people it, and [a] classic of the bittersweet history of the American West.”

    Washington Times

  • “Doig at his best: fresh, vivid language energizing his keen insight into a woman whose warmth he felt only briefly.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A lyrical evocation of the Doig’s gallantly hardscrabble existence and love for the unforgiving Montana mountains.” San Francisco Chronicle
  • “In poetic and precise prose, Doig has crafted a worthy complement to his acclaimed memoir, This House of Sky.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “For House of Sky devotees, and for anyone who cares about the West and the ties that bind rugged individuals, this is a book to treasure.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 2/20/2014

    " Ivan Doig's tribute to his mother and his childhood. His phraseology is so polished and evokes a deep humming warmth inside. This one is a real treat. Read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 2/12/2014

    " After his original memoir, This House of Sky, it was very interesting to revisit his early life from the perspective of his Mother's letters to her brother. I enjoyed reading about the same people again and learning more about them. I especially enjoyed the obvious research that Ivan had done to include information that had not been in his earlier memoir. In this book as in his others, his descriptions of the places and times are as entrancing as his portraits of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 2/8/2014

    " I could read Ivan Doig forever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy Halsan | 1/29/2014

    " As always, Ivan Doig's words are poetic. In this memoir, Doig draws the reader into the last year of his mother's life. She died on his sixth birthday. As an adult he receives letters that she wrote to her brother during this time period. From those letters come this beautiful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky | 1/15/2014

    " I recently reread both This House of Sky and Heart Earth. If you have read This House of Sky and not Heart Earth, you must read it. It is the "prequel" to his first memoir in that it is about his mother Berneta Ringer Doig. This memoir is based on the letters sent by his mother to her brother Wally during the last year of WWII while he was stationed on the carrier Ault in the South Pacific. As much I as like This House of Sky, I think of the two this one is my favorite. It is such a beautiful love story of his parents short marriage, the family love of Montana and the need to be in the high country and the love of a son for the mother whom he had for such a short time but who gave him his love of words and writing. If you are ever in Montana, visit the Big Belt Country. The railroad is gone, there is not much left of Ringling and Maudlow is a ghost town, but the country where most of this memoir takes place is much as it was, isolated and sometimes harsh, but with a beauty that Doig is so lyrical in capturing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beckett | 1/11/2014

    " Beautiful story. Wonderful phrasing. Delightful insight to a WWII child looking at the world in wonder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/3/2014

    " Very interesting and artistic writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 12/25/2013

    " You think of Doig as Montana, so to hear him lovingly describe Arizona was a treat. This book is about him, his parents, and what he remembers, and learned from his Mom's letters to her brother during the last year of her life. Really enjoyed this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Babcock | 11/11/2013

    " Gave me a lot of insight into his other novels. Definitely read this if you're a Doig fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 11/6/2013

    " Not nearly as beautifully written as it's sequel, this House of Sky, this book makes a pleasant selection simply to complete the story of the author's childhood and short relationship with his mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Flotlin | 8/9/2013

    " I usually like/love Doig's books, but this is definitely my favorite. It's the story of his mother, who dies young. The writing is incredible--sometimes I would reread a paragraph because I was so touched by it. At a reading he gave, Doig mentionned that this was his favorite also. Heartfelt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 6/14/2013

    " As aptly stated by the Washington Post Doig's work makes readers recall why they love to read and reminds writers why they ever wanted to write in the first place. My favorite Doig saga to date. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peg n Lon | 4/4/2013

    " I have read most of Doig's books and enjoyed them. This one adds nothing to the "based on truth" history. Fair enough as he labels this one "a memoir." That is just what it is and nothings more. Doig loves to talk about himself and his family but his writing is consistent and somehow, soothing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 5/6/2012

    " Wow. This short book -- a memoir about Doig's short time with his mother -- is so beautifully written that I want to listen to it again just to experience the poetry in the writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathi | 4/13/2012

    " This is a prequel to Ivan Doig's THis House of Sky. After reading Whistling Season by the same author I wanted to read more about his roots in Montana. So far, it is typical of his writing - an wonderful meander through life. I'll keep you posted "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zara | 4/9/2012

    " I love all of Ivan Doig's books - he paints the Montana picture with true colors and shades. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea Lakly | 3/2/2012

    " Non-fiction story of Doig's mom and dad. Not as good as "Dancing at the Rascal Fair," but good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 3/1/2012

    " This was a beautiful western memoir, written almost like a love story of the authors' parents. The only real problem I had with it was that every now and then the detailed language and description bogged me down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paddy | 11/25/2011

    " A lovely coda to House of Sky! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clinton | 10/24/2011

    " As far as memoirs go, I enjoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 3/18/2011

    " Letters were found when Ivan was going through his Mom's effects; nice bit of family history as his father worked as a miner in the Western U.S. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clinton | 2/5/2011

    " As far as memoirs go, I enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/28/2011

    " Gave me a lot of insight into his other novels. Definitely read this if you're a Doig fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paddy | 10/7/2010

    " A lovely coda to House of Sky! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 9/12/2010

    " Not nearly as beautifully written as it's sequel, this House of Sky, this book makes a pleasant selection simply to complete the story of the author's childhood and short relationship with his mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 7/29/2010

    " Ivan Doig's tribute to his mother and his childhood. His phraseology is so polished and evokes a deep humming warmth inside. This one is a real treat. Read this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 7/16/2010

    " You think of Doig as Montana, so to hear him lovingly describe Arizona was a treat. This book is about him, his parents, and what he remembers, and learned from his Mom's letters to her brother during the last year of her life. Really enjoyed this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 4/16/2010

    " I usually like/love Doig's books, but this is definitely my favorite. It's the story of his mother, who dies young. The writing is incredible--sometimes I would reread a paragraph because I was so touched by it. At a reading he gave, Doig mentionned that this was his favorite also. Heartfelt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 8/2/2009

    " As aptly stated by the Washington Post Doig's work makes readers recall why they love to read and reminds writers why they ever wanted to write in the first place. My favorite Doig saga to date. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathi | 5/12/2009

    " This is a prequel to Ivan Doig's THis House of Sky. After reading Whistling Season by the same author I wanted to read more about his roots in Montana. So far, it is typical of his writing - an wonderful meander through life. I'll keep you posted "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/19/2009

    " Very interesting and artistic writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 3/1/2009

    " As always, Ivan Doig's words are poetic. In this memoir, Doig draws the reader into the last year of his mother's life. She died on his sixth birthday. As an adult he receives letters that she wrote to her brother during this time period. From those letters come this beautiful book. "

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About the Author
Author Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig is the author of over a dozen books, including the Indiebound bestseller Work Song, the classic memoir This House of Sky, and the acclaimed Montana trilogy. He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.