Monday, 31 October 2011

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is removed from the agreement. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions, as the story eventually reveals the long-term sexual abuse of the two eldest daughters that was committed by their father.
The plot also focuses on Ginny's troubled marriage, her difficulties in bearing a child and her relationship with her family. (wikipedia)

I came across this Pulitzer price winning novel while I was searching for a topic to write my paper in a "King Lear" seminar for uni. For anyone familiar with King Lear, this novel follows the plot very precisely. The Lear plot, the Gloucester plot, updated and re-valued versions of them are the core of this 1997 novel.
Is it worth reading even when you couldn´t care less about Lear and just want an exciting read? I would say yes, but it´s not an easy read. The language itself is easy and comteporary but the the plot and the dense descriptions of Ginny´s awful life are sometimes so plastic that you suffer with her and get soaked into the whole misery they are all on. So maybe not something if you want to cheer yourself up or feel the need to laugh out loud. But if you like family dramas and as an added bonus know your Shakespeare well then give it go!

1 comment:

  1. Naja, doch. ;o) Wenn Du "Geschmäcker" wie Kaffee, Zimt, Erdnussbutter etc. dazu machen kannst, dann schon. ;o) Das waren jetzt meine Probeschokis, die hatten "nur" Toppings - schmeckt aber auch anders, wenn zur Schoki ne Marzipanmöhre kommt. ;o)