Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Quickening by Michelle Hoover

Two women struggle against the unremitting brutality of running a farm during the Depression

Well. Glad I'm not a farmer. Very glad. My heart sank as I read the first couple paragraphs – it almost sounded like a parody, but I was quickly sucked into the well constructed plot. There is conflict on every page. The narration alternates between Enidina and Mary, reluctant neighbors on the harsh prairie. They each have deep desires that come to naught. Two very different characters – one utterly stoic, the other forced to be stoic. The many varied characters and the conflicts are monumental when set against the flat endless landscape. For me it was hard to read - unrelenting pessimism about human effort. No joy and absolutely no humor. Also, the prose was a bit too muscular for my taste.

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