Cook died, when Rose was a teenager, Larry raped her repeatedly. Her emotional battle to avoid harsh realities is sure to put her up for those big-time awards. There was no misunderstanding about the intent, or role, of each character in the story. Spine may also show signs of wear. These great, blond, beautiful acting powerhouses, clashing and bonding and going for the throat. I think it would have been more true-to-life had Smiley permitted this character to have a different outcome with showing her husband the compassion and respect that he deserved. His oldest daughters, Ginny and Rose, decide they have to be firmer with their father.
It got me from Michigan to Vermont to Philadelphia. But Smiley has figured most of it out. She does not like what she sees and decides to turn her back on the life that she has always known. It's insanely ambitious to try to write Lear as a novel at all; it's a crazy play and most of it doesn't make any real-world sense. I did get the impression that in presenting what is certainly a feminist look at Lear, the guys come off pretty badly, tarred with a dark brush the way Willie the Shake treated the elder sisters in the original. Perhaps when this book was published in 1991, it was a 'must-read'; however, in 2016, it's incredibly dull.
Days later, the family lawyer approaches Ginny and informs her Larry, with the help of Caroline, is suing both her and Rose for the farm. The weird thing is, I love stories that get really damn dark, creepy, and weird. Having previously read two books by the quite amusing and the intelligent and thoughtful , I should have given her the benefit of the doubt. Jane Smiley is a very popular author, but, at the moment, I'm not sure why. Think or with an eating disorder, and you have an idea of just how simplistic that seems. A classic example of why some awards and book club favorites are not to be trusted. The rift in the relationship opened up a hornets nest of bitter memories and secrets.
Through the course of events that follow, the characters reveal themselves to Ginny the main character and oldest daughter of Larry in various ways. Just the way their father did. Comment: This item shows signs of wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. That's more like how it was. I loved this Shakespeare-by-way-of-Steinbeck Lear of the Corn.
This gentle, quietly brooding book about a family feud, set against the backdrop of wide-open plains and stormy nights and often quite beautifully written, suddenly twists into a tale of: incest, rape, sabotage, child abuse, miscarriages, infertility, an annoying do-gooder hippie, poisonings, rampant misogyny, some kind of weird farmer-hate why hate farmers, lady?! The subject matter may seem dull the central female characters live mostly in a farm setting with their family, and the major crisis deals with family trauma but the story is anything but that. And poison in the well water, it is suggested, prevents her from completing a pregnancy. Whoop, heart attack in a grocery store. No, that's just when we learn about it in the book. And from that she elevates this story of oppressed rural women, of incest, rape, madness and murder, and makes it Tragedy. I first read this when I was around 17, doing a comparative literature course on Shakespeare and contemporary writers.
He is more distant with his daughters and sons-in-law, and he questions their every choice regarding the farm. Then he announces he has decided to retire, and to divide his farm into three parts, giving shares to each of his daughters. We have the ailing patriarch, a kingdom in decline and his three contesting daughters. Smiley presents the older two daughters in the play, they were the one-dimensional villains in a more sympathetic light. It was dour, it was worthy, it was plodding, it was thoroughly unenlightening, it was like am I ever going to finish this? He had two or three pairs? It was all very Stepford; difference was not something to be encouraged. Ginny had also signed over all her land to her husband and Rose.
A compelling read that I highly recommend. But, I was looking for something to read on my Kindle, when this caught my eye--because of the King Lear similarities and the Pulitzer. She's a nervous wreck if she thinks someone might be gossiping about her, but also a cold-blooded killer? A few days later, Harold has an accident and he remains blind as a result. Written by people who wish to remain anonymous Ginny Cook Smith Ginny is the main character and narrator of A Thousand Acres. Caroline, the youngest, was seemingly detached from the family in general. Their farm is their life with the exception of one daughter, Caroline, who became a lawyer. The main characters and there were several, were well-developed.
Ginny and Rose have one younger sister, Caroline, a lawyer who has chosen big-city life over farming. And even if Rose had been plotting against Larry, well, he really deserved it. I was also amazed at how Smiley incorporated the ambitious Shakespearean inspired plot, taking the story to dark and deep places. He got out of there as soon as he could. .
In this winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Smiley captures the essence of such a life with stark, painful detail. The plot unfolds when a patriarchal farmer decides to divvy up his thousand acres to his three daughters. I especially hated her two supposed protagonists, Rose and Ginny. Also, the author of a book that's going to plunge into incest, rape, suicide, and murder, I think, needs to approach those subjects reallllly cautiously and carefully - building up the tension slowly and culminating in brief moments of terror or just plain creepiness. From 1981 to 1996, she taught at Iowa State University. Not so with these farm folks. Jess leaves home for a period of 13 years, managing to escape being drafted for a period of time.