Some Luck – Jane Smiley

Some Luck - Jane Smiley

Some Luck – Jane Smiley

This was a Christmas present – I liked A Thousand Acres, so I was keen to read this one.

Here is the blurb …

On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his family’s land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm who’s not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her father’s heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this family’s triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. Rich with humor and wisdom, twists and surprises, Some Luck takes us through deeply emotional cycles of births and deaths, passions, and betrayals, displaying Smiley’s dazzling virtuosity, compassion, and understanding of human nature and the nature of history, never discounting the role of fate and chance. This potent conjuring of many lives across generations is a stunning tour de force.

I enjoyed this and will definitely read the next installment. I really enjoy what is probably best described as domestic fiction – the nitty-gritty of everyday lives. Although the focus of this novel is narrow – one family – what they experience and endure covers an enormous amount of early 20th century American life – the changes to farming practice, the droughts, the depression (this bit was fascinating because they had a farm and could fed themselves they really didn’t need much money), World War 2 and the Cold War. The writing is beautiful – the settings evocative and the characters all brilliantly portrayed and remarkably different.

More reviews …

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One Response to Some Luck – Jane Smiley

  1. Pingback: Early Warning – Jane Smiley | My BookClub Reviews

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