Summary: In this novel a story of an agricultural countryside family is portrayed by Jane Smiley as he describes what happens when an old farmer, Larry decides to grant his land to his two eldest daughters Ginny and Rose. Initially, the story begins with a pig roast on a huge farm in Iowa, during which the head of the farm, Larry Cook retires and decides to donate the land to Ginny and Rose, the oldest two of his three daughters. The youngest daughter though, Caroline, refuses to accept the generous gift being a lawyer, thus infuriating Larry, and causing him to deny her right to receiving part of the farm.
Coincidentally the two other girls willingly accept the gift because they have settled in on the farm for many years with their husbands and have ran the farm since they were young children. However, soon the girls realize that all Larry is trying to do is compete with the glory of his neighbor farmer, Jess, who competes with him over a better farm. Ego and pride drives Larry insane as his life falls apart, he begins buying random furniture, making adjustments and enhancements to the farm, buying new materials and going against his daughters Ginny and Rose, who turn against him eventually. What will happen in such a tangled dilemma and camaraderie, read this book to find out how an ordinary farmer turns into a classic fairy tale of ego and tyranny.
Why I picked it up:
I picked this book up because of the multiple great testimonies and comments written about the book. The book also seemed allegoric and meaningful so I thought I would give it a try and see how the book would turn out.
Why I kept reading it:
I kept reading this book because I wanted to know what the three girls would end up doing to their insane father, and how the battle of ego would turn out by the end of the book. The novel kept on bringing up new and exciting tricks and pranks that the family played together.
Who would I give it to next:
I would give this book to anyone who enjoys family and analytic stories of the true nature of human beings. I would give this book to anyone who enjoys exciting stories that keep people thrilled and eager to find out what happens next.
Reviewed by Ahmed E.