A Thousand Acres

A Thousand AcresA Successful Iowa Farmer Decides To Divide His Farm Between His Three Daughters When The Youngest Objects, She Is Cut Out Of His Will This Sets Off A Chain Of Events That Brings Dark Truths To Light And Explodes Long Suppressed Emotions An Ambitious Reimagining Of Shakespeare S King Lear Cast Upon A Typical American Community In The Late Twentieth Century, A Thousand Acres Takes On Themes Of Truth, Justice, Love, And Pride, And Reveals The Beautiful Yet Treacherous Topography Of Humanity. Daddy thinks history starts fresh every day, every minute, that time itself begins with the feelings he s having right now That s how he keeps betraying us, why he roars at us with such conviction We have to stand up to that, and say, at least to ourselves, that what he s done before is still with us, still right here in this room until there s true remorse Nothing will be right until there s that He looks so, sort of, weakened Weakened is not enough Destroyed isn t enough He s got to repent and feel humiliation and regret I won t be satisfied until he knows what he is Do we know what we are We know we aren t him We know that to that degree we don t yet deserve the lowest circle of hell Jane Smiley s Pulitzer Prize winning A Thousand Acres takes most of its inspiration from King Lear, but works that soil with bountiful quantities of modern nutrients In the original, the elderly Lear, wanting to retire from his royal duties, seeks to distribute his kingdom among his children, with the lar
When this book was chosen by our book club for this month s theme of tragedy, I approached reading it with some trepidation There are a number of things that I don t care for in literature, and one of them is the family drama which centers on the drama as drama for its own sake, rather than to say something about the world Part of my bias against this kind of writing comes from having cut my eyeteeth on science fiction, the literature of ideas which, at its best, is about today as much as it is about a future I also spent three years in a creative writing program where, god bless them, my fellow students seemed to spend a lot of time writing autobiographical stories that didn t have much to say beyond it sucks to grow up in fill in the blank The book had won a Pulitzer, and if there s anything I learned in my MFA classes on literature, an award was often a signal that a book was not for the reader but written for the critics A Thousand Acres screamed to me from its cover that it was that kind of book, that focused on the dissolution of the family as seen through a retelling of the King Lear story I shuddered.But, really, I shouldn t have Having p
For three generations, the Cook family have worked hard to create a thriving agriculture operation, draining swamplands, turning the weeds and grass into rich fertile soil As time went on, their holdings eventually reached what felt like a magic number to the family a thousand acres.Larry Cook decides he wants to ensure his legacy continues to flourish and presents a plan to split it between his three daughters and their husbands Ginny, the eldest and Rose, two years younger agree to comply with their father s wishes but the youngest daughter Caroline is not interested She is a lawyer and is about to marry another lawyer and has no interest in farming That a child of his thwarts him is intolerable to this domineering patriarch and he cuts Caroline off completely.As this well plotted story proceeds and we learn about this family, it becomes clear that things have not been right for many years Certainly not since Larry s wife and the girls mother died when Ginny was fourteen years old It is now Ginny s responsibility to cook, clean, and care for her much younger sister along with help from twelve
Smiley uses King Lear as her framework for this novel We have the ailing patriarch, a kingdom in decline and his three contesting daughters And as you re reading you re often wondering to what extent Smiley is going to mirror the Shakespeare plot The plot of King Lear would be melodramatic vaudeville in the hands of a heavy handed author so Smiley is setting herself a huge challenge here The novel is narrated by Ginny, the eldest of the daughters In other words Goneril, the most treacherous, spiteful and amoral of Lear s daughters Ginny though only shares these flaws in the most subtle of ways and it takes a while before they begin to emerge On the surface she is self effacing, obedient, submissive to both her father and husband She is childless, the victim of several miscarriages and thus jealous of her sister Rose who has two girls She is also jealous of her younger sister Caroline Cordelia who has escaped the farm and rural life to become a lawyer in the city Two events throw the quiet stable long preserved continuity of life on the farms into disarray The father hands over the farms to his three daughters except Caroline expresses doubts as t
King Lear 1970 s Iowa farm dynasty riveting storytellingHaving never read Jane Smiley before, I m glad I started with this dazzling 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner Set in 1970 s Iowa farm country, we follow the Cook family Larry, the cruel, no nonsense patriarch, and his daughters Ginny the narrator , Rose and Caroline At the onset of the story, Larry decides to retire and pass down the farm to his daughters and their husbands Caroline, the youngest, the only daughter who managed to get off the farm and works as a lawyer, is skeptical about this plan Larry, who doesn t tolerate opposition, is incensed A rift in the family is born, cracking it open and spilling out all kinds of secrets, eventually bringing forth the painful truth at the core.I was amazed while reading this first, because I was drawn in almost immediately, I was so quickly invested in the lives of her characters I was also amazed at how Smiley incorporated the ambitious Shakespearean inspired plot, taking the story to dark and deep places.Despite all this depth and darkness, there is an accessibility that carried me through with ease Marriages with tensions, lost pregnancies, and an unwelcome, sexy interloper ramping up the drama Betrayal a
In the beginning I felt there were a lot of characters to keep track of, but while some names are mentioned later on that I did not recall that was not actually a problem for me I only realized while reading other reviews that this was a spin off of King Lear and that helps explain why some of the characters, while otherwise humble, cheated on their spouses and even tried to kill the people closest to them I thought that the idea of the death of the American farm was the most powerful part of this book but the use of the game of Monopoly to describe this fell short.It seemed at times that Smiley was trying to convince the reader that organic farming is the best way There were long descriptions of what people ate and these were supposed to be character traits, including a vegetarian from Seattle who doesn t drink beer but likes Coke.I enjoyed this book thoroughly through the first third but, after that, it became over dramatized and lo
Rose Forgiveness is a reflex for when you can t stand what you know I resisted that reflex That s my sole, solitary, lonely accomplishment This is a story about a family and their one thousand acre farm in Zebulon County, Iowa It is a detailed account of life on an American farm Three sisters had to live through the memories of their childhood, the death of their mother, and the relationship they all had with their father Betrayal, trust, loyalty, and fate were slowly building up a tower of deceit which was waiting for the first serious storm to take it down Virginia Ginny Cook Smith and Rose Cook Lewis are handed over their father s land when he formed a corporation and relinquish the thousand acres to them Larry Cook forced his daughters to sign Ginny s husband, Tyler Smith, and Rose s husband, Peter Lewis, took over the overall management A spanner is thrown into the works when Jess Clark arrived back in the neighborhood Caroline Cook, the youngest daughter, is kept out of the initial agreement Then in a turn of events, she trie
Hawkeyes, Hayseeds and Hotheads Flammable Flamily SecretsWinner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1991 National Book Critics Circle fiction award, Jane Smiley s novel represents a robust, red faced reworking of Shakespeare s King Lear, a family tragedy set against the bucolic Iowa farmland Lear here is Larry Cook, an elderly farmer who owns 1,000 acres he decides to gift to his three daughters via a business entity The oldest daughter Ginny is thrilled, the youngest daughter Caroline, an attorney who resides a couple of hours away, thinks it s a bad idea and wants nothing to do with it, while the gesture stokes hot coals of resentment from middle daughter Rose, who claims dad sexually abused her repeatedly over many years after the girls mom died Thus the gift becomes a sort of molotov cocktail thrown into a huge tinderbox of incendiary family secrets.Smiley sensitively handles the sex abuse allegations Rose senses daddy s using this as repentance or hush money for his awful violations and wants vengeance Ginny has repressed all memories of any abuse and tries to act as peacemaker between Rose and daddy and, Caroline was sheltered from daddy s advances by her two sisters Smiley deft
The family dynamics of this knock about tale remind me of a ride that I haven t been on since I was a kid Bumper cars Chances are, you ve been in one too This character driven narrative hammered out many complexities shared among family members In this case, the Cooks The author presented a dynamic, well written storyline with twists and turns that kept me amused, bewildered and saddened The main characters and there were several, were well developed So much so that I felt a connection with each and every one of them The narrative started slow, built momentum as it gathered steam and had an ending well worth waiting for.The Cook family lived on an Iowa farm in Zebulon County One thousand acres in all Large by local standards Larry, the patriarch, the father, had his hands full with his farm and three daughters Ginny, Rose and Caroline Oldest to youngest Or is it, did they have their hands full with him Now grown women Their mother had died when they were in grade school Two decades ago.One day, out of the clear blue, Larry felt it was time to call it quits No one had known what had br
Ok, I got to page 267 of this book and I figured that life was too short to go ahead with this torture What was the Pulitzer committee thinking when they awarded the prize to this DREADFUL book I found it so excrutiatingly dull as to be an exercise in nothing than endurance Smiley s story of the decline of an Iowa farm family is ostensibly based on King Lear In reality it has no remote resemblance to King Lear, who was a sympathetically tragic character perhaps one of his greatest And the daughters rather than being based on the odious Goneril and Regan, are truly distorted beyond recognition Shakespere s story and characters are deeply resonant and well developed The issues in King Lear involve complex human relationships and interactions Not so with these farm folks Smiley s characters were gasp abused by this Iowa patriarch you can see this coming a mile away Not that abuse is not a real problem, but it has been a bit overdone, and overdone, and overdone There is nothing fresh or new about this rendering of an overdone topic And the final indignity to one s intellect there is a stupid scene in which one of them all of a sudden remembers this repressed memory shades of the recovered memory movement Blah, baloney, balderdash.In page after boring page, nothing whatever of any significance happens To make things worse, Smiley s tedious prose resembles something from an 8th grade lesson in creative writing She describes everything everything, every covered dish at

☉ A Thousand Acres PDF / Epub ❤ Author Jane Smiley – Oaklandjobs.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 371 pages
  • A Thousand Acres
  • Jane Smiley
  • English
  • 12 April 2019
  • 9780449907481