I just finish A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley this week. This is my latest read for my Pulitzer Prize reading goal.
What I loved about this book:
Smiley’s writing style – she draws such clear, emotional pictures with her words, even when writing about difficult subjects
What I liked about this book:
The book took place in a time period that I remember vividly, and she wrote about it accurately
Having been raised by a farmer I enjoy reading about farming, so although the father in this story was NOTHING like my daddy (I don’t think I can stress that enough) there was much about the other farmers and the way of life itself that resonated with me
The people in the story were complex and every single one of them fascinated me. I wanted to get to know them all better, but felt that I knew them at the same time. Smiley is very good at writing in a character driven manner. She did not write in a way that was overly judgmental of her characters, especially Ginny and Rose. While many of the characters within the story make choices that might be viewed as “wrong” most of them never lose their humanity to that “wrongness”
What I disliked about the book.
Child sexual abuse is never easy to read about. And while I believe repressed memories do happen I don’t believe they happen the way they did in this book. I remember very well the repressed memory craze that went on in the 1990s, so many women were “discovering” that they were abused while they were in therapy.
All in all a deep story, beautifully written.