Good read. Very absorbing.
I really could not get into this book.
I did not like this book. I didn't even like any of the characters, especially the mother. Very disappointed in this book.
Jane Smiley's first novel focusing on a woman who is obsessed with horses.
I've ridden all my life, so I enjoyed this book from a horse person's point of view, but Smiley's books are emotionally wrenching, more so after you're finished than while you're reading, at least for me. Kate, the main character, is referred to in many reviews as 'obsessed,' but because I share a lot of personality traits with her, she seems more driven to me than obsessed. She is a person who carries on no matter what and altho for most people that would be a strength, for her, it's her greatest weakness.
The relationships between the 4 children are interesting and complex, and Smiley's dialog is smooth. Her books don't have some huge plot going on, but the day-to-day-ness of them sucks you in and by the time it's over, you're wrung out. I closed this book and the previous one I read, A Thousand Acres, and just sat there, stunned.
I recommend her because she writes very well, but these aren't books to read when you need cheering up. I have a couple more on my shelf and I'm looking forward to them, but I'm taking a break before I start another.
Another great Jane Smiley book--in this one, lots of horse show stuff. I love her prose.
I found this book riveting. It shows what can happen to a family with an obsessive, controlling mother. The husband was not as controlled by his wife; but he did not do much to help the children, who were forced to live the life their mother missed out on. Each child was affected in a different way. Smiley puts us inside each child's head so we can experience what the situation is like for each one.