Some Luck Author:Jane Smiley From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres: a heartwarming, deeply engaging new novel-the life and times of an American farm family over three transformative decades-certain to become an instant classic. — On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to th... more »eir five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his family's land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm who's not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her father's heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this family's triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. Rich with humor and wisdom, twists and surprises, Some Luck takes us through deeply emotional cycles of births and deaths, passions, and betrayals, displaying Smiley's dazzling virtuosity, compassion, and understanding of human nature and the nature of history, never discounting the role of fate and chance. This potent conjuring of many lives across generations is a stunning tour de force.« less
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Some Luck, the first in a trilogy, chronicles the lives of the Langdon family on their Iowa farm from 1920-1953. Rosanna and Walter Langdon with their five surviving children experiences many tragedies and triumphs during this turbulent period in American history. The children are diverse in personalities and interests, and each is interesting individually and as part of the entire Langdon family. This is a book I hated to put down and couldn't wait to pick up again. It is filled with ordinary every-day events and heartbreaking poignancy. I eagerly await the story of successive years in this memorable family saga.
I have to admit, I swore off of Jane Smiley years ago after reading A Thousand Acres because I was so mad at the ending. My book club chose Some Luck though, so I read it.
Some Luck is a character study of normal hard working families that takes place in the town of Denby Iowa. While Denby doesn't exist, the other towns mentioned in the book do. I really enjoyed the references to Ames, Iowa City, Muscatine, Davenport, Tipton, Cedar Rapids, Rock Island & Cairo,IL. and so many other cities that I recognized.
Aside from that, It was very interesting to watch these characters grow up on the farm and what it taught them. It was also interesting to watch them grow and make decisions on their lives, loves and careers.
If you are looking for a book with a mystery or a big plot or some dynamic impact, stop looking. It isn't there. It is a book with insight to the differences and the similarities in a family. A book about how times change and how people change with the times. A book about loss, success, frailties and expectation. It is a book about family.