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An early twentieth century author comparing the big city of Chicago and the still rural, small farm, immigrant community of Illinois through her eye and then through her son’s. As the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the author of Showboat and Giant, she enjoyed popularity and a solid following. When we in the twenty-first century read this, I think it is necessary to understand the times of the writing, and a few of the remarks about African Americans and Japanese. There also seems to be a few non-sequential time jumps to make a point about something.
Given all that, the story is very readable, but I was disappointed that it switched from the mother to her son, So Big, which was the intent of the author, as the mother to me was more interesting. I kept looking for a problem other than life itself for the characters to solve, and the two characters were too perfect. A century later when we’re drenched in sex and violence, it is a refreshing read, and you may find it so.
Historical fiction. Struggles early Dutch America experienced with farming, similar, in a way to The Grapes of Wrath, in my opinion. In touch with the human condition and a life path of chasing money and the pretentious, superficial existence of the elite OR the life path of beauty, love, integrity and authenticity. Her prose teleported me to another time. She had me smiling, crying, anticipating, and experiencing joy in this page turner book. And published in 1924! Amazing! I will read this again.
Jumps forward a few times. Some favored influence when Pulitzer was awarded. Even Ferber had her doubts about the novel when turned over to publisher. Great book? Well it made it over to Europe & Russia with high regards. Made it to the big screen 3 separate times, none successful. The vision of a working farm, the use of a single horse wagon to arrive to market by dawn, social structure of an early Chicago & it's suburbs, the true meaning of what we should get out of our lives is well depicted & appreciated.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the descriptions of the period. I can see why it won a Pulitzer.
One hundred percent fantastic. I love this book and I would read it over and over. Such a unique writing style and such real characters. Truly a classic that *deserves* to be a classic!