223 Following


Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

A family saga that opens in the farm fields of Iowa

Some Luck: A novel - Jane Smiley

Some Luck opens during the flapper era jazz age, but the young Langdon family spends their time in the farm fields of Iowa, not the speakeasies of Chicago or salons of Paris. The first of Jane Smiley’s family saga trilogy, there’s one chapter for each year from 1920 to 1953, taking the story through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, WWII, and the early days of the Cold War.


In the beginning there’s only Rosanna and Walter, a young married couple who’ve just purchased a farm by taking on substantial debt. Soon children start coming along and as the story goes on through the years readers watch them grow up and make new lives, often far away from their Iowa roots.


Smiley’s writing style is subtle, recounting sometimes quotidian events through the limited third person perspectives of almost all of her many characters, often starting from when they were very young children with limited verbal skills. Much of the story is not high drama, but somehow most of it is compelling anyway and I was completely drawn into the lives of the Langdons. Watching the children grow to adults was fascinating, and Smiley held my interest by making  sometimes surprising but ultimately plausible choices for her characters.


Source: http://jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1122242/a-family-saga-that-opens-in-the-farm-fields-of-iowa