Some luck jane smiley review
Some Luck (Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga, #1) by Jane SmileyOn their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his familys land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm whos not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her fathers heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this familys triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. Rich with humor and wisdom, twists and surprises, Some Luck takes us through deeply emotional cycles of births and deaths, passions, and betrayals, displaying Smileys dazzling virtuosity, compassion, and understanding of human nature and the nature of history, never discounting the role of fate and chance. This potent conjuring of many lives across generations is a stunning tour de force.
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It is an easy and engrossing read with the cornfields, the snowstorms and the technological developments of the 20th century vividly evoked. It is, likewise, a family epic. The first in a planned trilogy, it progresses in a year per chapter through the life of Walter Langdon who returns home after serving in the First World War to establish his own farm and wed the blonde beauty Rosanna Vogel. But the children prove very different and so well delineated that is rarely an issue. And as the children venture further afield, it is into the world of the atomic bomb and panic over the Russian Red Menace.
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With a short biography of Dickens, she invited us to see her, like him, as a writer whose work is defined by its energy and range rather than its settings and subject matter. Many of the characters named in a family tree at the front of the book amble onstage, one after another. Walter Langdon, 25, is a patriarch in the making. Their first child, Frank, is followed by Joe and Mary Elizabeth and three others. Ragnar is a Norwegian hired man who marries and moves away.