Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jane Smiley: A Thousand Acres

I was anxious to read this because reviews compared it to King Lear - though, it was nowhere near Shakespeare's standards. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't my favorite either, which is odd because I've usually found that the books on the Pulitzer Prize list lean to one side or the other (I either love or hate them).

The first couple of chapters drew me in because the main character fails to conceive a child and that's an area of life I know a lot about. But, aside from that fact, there was little to keep me attached. There's a lot of stuff about farms. I don't want to give away too much so let's just leave it at that.

This book left me melancholy - which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it left me with an emotion. On the other, it was a negative feeling and the topic - incestuous child molestation - gave me the creeps because, unfortunately, that sort of shit does happen.

It was a quick read - I read it in under five hours but I wanted to slap the main character. . . okay, let's be honest. I wanted to slap all of the characters for most of that time. However, I suspect that the author may have intended that. So read at your own risk.

"Linda was just born when I had my first miscarriage, and for a while, six months maybe, the sight of those two babies. . . affected me like poison. All my tissues hurt when I saw them. . . as if my capillaries were carrying acid into the furthest reaches of my system. I was so jealous. . . "

"That's the homely woman's dream, you know. That someone will see actual beauty where others never have."

"That's the trouble with telepathy, you know. Most of the time, the lines are down."