A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

by Jane Smiley

Judy Copek (01/16/12): Set on "A Thousand Acres" in Iowa, Jane Smiley's novel really nails the farm community culture, with characters so real you forget they're in a book. Surprises abound (I won't spoil them) in this novel which can also be read as a modern day King Lear. Now I can't wait to read Smiley's other books.
Rating: ****

Jeanine Gooch: Jane Smiley's writing is smart, honest and sometimes raw. In A Thousand Acres, Smiley tells the story of a family farm suddenly offered for takeover by a cantankerous widower to his three daughters and two sons-in-law who all have deep roots in farming in their hometown. That story is merely the backdrop to the unwrapping of the three daughters' past. Their childhood and upbringing consisted of a culture where they were reared to accept life without question - a stark juxtaposition to their adulthood as they open old wounds and discover some fresh ones in the process.
Rating: ****

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